Naval War College Review


Robert Burrell


The title of this book appropriately sug- gests a degree of ambiguity regarding the actors fighting over the territorial integrity and cultural identity of China. The interplay of imperial Japan, Na- tionalist and Communist Chinese, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, France, and the United States from 1937 through 1945 creates a terrain challenging to navigate with historical accuracy and objective truth. The conflicting view- points on these contentious events have proved difficult, and perhaps impossible, material from which to develop a definitive narrative. Consequently, the editors have chosen to avoid illusions of defining the “facts” of the matter, instead offering a number of exploratory essays from opposing viewpoints. In order to offer this multisource assess- ment, the editors coordinated the efforts of scholars from China, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States.