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September 08 , 2007

Historical Dictionary of the Chinese Civil War


The Chinese Civil War, which lasted several years or several decades, depending on how you define it, was one of the most momentous wars of the 20th century for it determined the fate of the world’s most populous country, and was bitterly fought with millions of combatants involved and hundreds of millions of civilians affected. More to the point, it was won by the Chinese Communist Party under Mao Zedong, who imposed Communist rule, while the Nationalists retreated to Taiwan. It also heated up the Cold War for quite some time, as the Communists were supported by the Soviet Union and the Nationalists by the United States.

This second edition of the
Historical Dictionary of the Chinese Civil War studies the longer, broader war and its chronology carefully tracks the major events. The introduction then provides a broad overview, describing the contending forces, and showing how the Communists come out on top. The details, and these are crucial, are laid out in over 200 cross-referenced dictionary entries dealing with the opposing forces and parties, the major campaigns and battles, the Long March, and of course the leadership on both sides. This book, one of few such in English, provides a very solid basis for study, but that can be accomplished more effectively by consulting the titles listed in an extensive bibliography.
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