China's Good War: How World War II Is Shaping a New Nationalism (Paperback)
A Foreign Affairs Book of the Year
A Spectator Book of the Year
--Foreign Affairs "A timely insight into how memories and ideas about the second world war play a hugely important role in conceptualizations about the past and the present in contemporary China."
--Peter Frankopan, The Spectator For most of its history, China frowned on public discussion of the war against Japan. But as the country has grown more powerful, a wide-ranging reassessment of the war years has been central to new confidence abroad and mounting nationalism at home. Encouraged by reforms under Deng Xiaoping, Chinese scholars began to examine the long-taboo Guomindang war effort, and to investigate collaboration with the Japanese and China's role in the post-war global order. Today museums, television shows, magazines, and social media present the war as a founding myth for an ascendant China that emerges as victor rather than victim. One narrative positions Beijing as creator and protector of the international order--a virtuous system that many in China now believe to be under threat from the United States. China's radical reassessment of its own past is a new founding myth for a nation that sees itself as destined to shape the world. "A detailed and fascinating account of how the Chinese leadership's strategy has evolved across eras...At its most interesting when probing Beijing's motives for undertaking such an ambitious retooling of its past."
--Wall Street Journal "The range of evidence that Mitter marshals is impressive. The argument he makes about war, memory, and the international order is...original."