In This Review

The Making of a Special Relationship: The United States and China to 1914
The Making of a Special Relationship: The United States and China to 1914
By Michael H. Hunt
Columbia University Press, 1983, 416 pp.

For a century and a half, until 1949, Americans enjoyed the myth that the Chinese looked appreciatively on the United States as a guide and mentor. Few American historians had the linguistic ability or the access to Chinese records necessary to get behind the myth. This book, by a leading scholar of a new generation, tells the Chinese side of the equation better than it has been told before, and stresses tension and misunderstanding rather than saccharine benevolence as principal themes. This is necessary background for understanding the present.