Mao's Military Romanticism: China and the Korean War, 1950-1953

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Mao's Military Romanticism: China and the Korean War, 1950-1953

By Shu Guang Zhang
University Press Of Kansas, 1995
338 pp. $45.00
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The history of the Korean War, like that of Vietnam, has been written with remarkably little reference to the other side. For that reason alone this would be a welcome book, drawing as it does on Chinese sources, including documentary collections recently published in China. This fascinating study shows that Chinese leaders were confounded by a war that did not fit the theories they had devised in years of struggle with the Nationalists and Japanese. The author is unsparing in his brief examination of American ethnocentrism and no less scathing on the errors of Mao and the People's Liberation Army, and will leave the former's reputation as a master strategist sorely -- and rightly -- damaged.