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Sun Yat-sen /
by Marie-Claire Bergère ; translated from the French by Janet Lloyd.
Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, c1998.
ix, 480 p., [7] p. of plates : maps, ports. ; 24 cm.
0804731705 (acid-free, recycled paper)
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Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, c1998.
0804731705 (acid-free, recycled paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 459-470) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-11:
Sun Yat-sen is a challenge to biographers. A political failure nearly all his life, he is now canonized in both mainland China and Taiwan. Although he was a leading anti-Manchu revolutionary, the Revolution of 1911 occurred in his absence (and to his surprise). A compromise candidate, he became the first president of the new republic but resigned within six weeks. Sun was on the periphery of Chinese politics throughout the rest of the decade, dismissed as an impractical adventurer. He made naive and opportunistic alliances, with warlords and Japanese politicians and later with the Comintern. His ideology was so vague that few found anything in it with which to disagree. All in all, Sun was more successful after his death than during his lifetime; his legacy was used to legitimize both Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Party and its communist rivals. This study by a leading historian of early-20th-century China shows Sun's strengths as well as his weaknesses and helps explain his appeal. Berg`ere's examination of Sun's Three Principles of the People is particularly incisive, and she provides enough context to make the biography accessible to general readers. Very highly recommended. All levels. R. E. Entenmann; St. Olaf College
Appeared in Library Journal on 1998-07:
Not too many public figures are respected and upheld as national heroes in both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan), but Sun Yat-sen is. He is a "pioneer of the revolution" to the Communists and the founding father to the dominant Nationalist Party of Taiwan. Bergère (Chinese civilization, National Inst. of Oriental Languages and Civilization, Paris) has written a new biography that seems very balanced and promising. Writings about Sun tend to divide sharply into two biased camps: highly politicized accounts by Chinese Communists of the heroic Sun opening the way for Mao vs. Western accounts of the myth-busting and belittling type. Bergère shows Sun in a much more balanced manner, and the scholarship is sound, as evidenced by the well-done notes and bibliography. Even so, for most libraries Harold Schiffrin's standard biography, Sun Yat-sen: Reluctant Revolutionary (LJ 7/80), is probably sufficient. This newer account is recommended only for libraries with a strong scholarly subject interest in China. (Index, maps, and illustrations not seen.)‘Charles V. Cowling, Drake Memorial Lib., SUNY at Brockport (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, July 1998
Choice, November 1998
Reference & Research Book News, November 1998
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This book argues that the life and work of Sun Yat-sen have been distorted, and its aim is to provide fresh overall evaluation of the man and the events that turned an adventurer into the founder of the Chinese Republic.
Main Description
Arguing that the life and work of Sun Yat-sen have been distorted by both myth and demythification, the author provides a fresh overall evaluation of the man and the events that turned an adventurer into the founder of the Chinese Republic and the leader of a great nationalist movement.
Unpaid Annotation
Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), the first president of the Republic of China, has left a supremely ambivalent political and intellectual legacy -- so much so that he is claimed as a Founding Father by both the present rival governments in Taipei and Beijing. This book argues that the life and work of Sun Yat-sen have been distorted both by the creation of a myth and by attempts at demystification. Its aim is to provide a fresh overall evaluation of the man and the events he so profoundly influenced.
Table of Contents
Note to Reader
Introductionp. 1
The Adventurer of the Southern Seas, 1866-1905p. 9
The Formative Years, 1866-1894p. 13
The Symbolic Creation of a Revolutionary Leader, 1894-1897p. 42
The Symbolic Creation of a Revolutionary Movement, 1897-1900p. 69
The Awakening of Chinese Nationalism and the Founding of the Revolutionary Alliance, 1905p. 97
The Founding Father? 1905-1920p. 137
Sun and the Revolutionary Alliancep. 141
The Conspiratorp. 173
The (Adoptive) Father of the Chinese Republicp. 198
Crossing the Desert, 1913-1920p. 246
Sun's Last Years: National Revolution and Revolutionary Nationalism, 1920-1925p. 287
Sun Yat-sen, Soviet Advisers, and the Canton Revolutionary Base, 1920-1924p. 293
Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the Peoplep. 352
Sun Yat-sen's Death and Transformationp. 395
Biographical Sketchesp. 423
Notesp. 437
Bibliographyp. 459
Indexp. 471
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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