HISTORY

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China

Knopf. Oct. 2019. 400p. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780451493507. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780451493514. HIST
COPY ISBN
Chang (Wild Swans; Empress Dowager Cixi) adds another title to her series of lively depictions of key figures in modern Chinese history. This time, the author focuses on three sisters from the Soong family: Ching-Ling, wife of Sun Yat-sen and eventual supporter of Communist China under Mao Zedong; May-Ling, who married Chiang Kai-Shek, leader of the nationalist movement in China and later Taiwan; and Ei-Ling, an adviser to Chiang Kai-shek as well as a businesswoman and political operative. Chang extensively quotes from correspondence, interviews, and contemporary sources, asserting that several of the large-scale political changes in China during the 1910s through the 1970s were set in motion owing to the personal and political struggles of the three sisters and their families. Some of these arguments will be debated by scholars, particularly those related to Chiang Kai-Shek’s capitulation to the Communists in exchange for the liberation of his son Chiang Ching-kuo.
VERDICT This accessible book will appeal to history buffs and biography fans in addition to those already familiar with Chang’s body of work.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.