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Extended Audio Sample Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911–45 Audiobook, by Barbara W. Tuchman Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (809 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara W. Tuchman Narrator: Pam Ward Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2009 ISBN: 9781455194872
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In this Pulitzer Prize–winning biography, Barbara Tuchman explores American relations with China through the experiences of one of our men on the ground. In the cantankerous but level-headed “Vinegar Joe,” Tuchman found a subject who allowed her to perform, in the words of the National Review, “one of the historians most envied magic acts: conjoining a fine biography of a man with a fascinating epic story.”

Joseph Stilwell was the military attaché to China in 1935 to 1939, commander of United States forces, and allied chief of staff to Chiang Kai-shek in 1942–44. His story unfolds against the background of China’s history, from the revolution of 1911 to the turmoil of World War II, when China’s Nationalist government faced attack from Japanese invaders and Communist insurgents.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A fantastic and complex story finely told.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Barbara Tuchman’s best book…so large in scope, so crammed with information, so clear in exposition, so assured in tone that one is tempted to say it is not a book but an education.”

    New Yorker

  • Stilwell performs one of the historian’s most envied magic acts: conjoining a fine biography of a man with a fascinating epic story.”

    National Review

  • “The most interesting and informative book on US-China relations…a brilliant, lucid and authentic account.”

    Nation

  • “Pam Ward is certainly listenable during this lengthy history of American relations with China through the end of WWII…Tuchman is the most articulate and nuanced of popular historians, and this biography of ‘Vinegar Joe’ Stilwell, head of American forces in China during WWII, is a thorough critique of American policy in China and of the Chiang Kai-shek regime.”

    AudioFile

  • Winner of the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 2/17/2014

    " Well done. A worthwhile read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 2/15/2014

    " Barbara W. Tuchman is an outstanding writer and a very good historian. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rodney | 1/23/2014

    " Excellent and thorough history, but ponderous to read unless one had a great interest in this era. Tuchman is a master historian, but not for the mass market. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ray Smith | 1/10/2014

    " Good history but ultimately frustrating. The entire book resolves around 2 actions: 1) Chiang promising something but really lying to Stillwell and 2) Stillwell not believing him but trying to influence Chiang anyways. This cycle repeats itself for 400+ pages, and you want to pull your hair out after awhile. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Stubenvoll | 12/29/2013

    " Very interesting book about a time period in our history that really I didn't know much about. Took a LONG time to get through the book, but learned a lot; I give it 4 stars due to some sections seemed slow. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tony | 12/29/2013

    " The only Tuchman I didn't like. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 12/21/2013

    " I love Barbara Tuchman's work. As with most of her other books, the middle of this one seemed to drag on a bit. It kept going after I'd lost my initial enthusiasm. But, the high-quality writing keeps me going. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter | 12/13/2013

    " REVIEW: Good book, good narrator "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 12/6/2013

    " Easy to read, as far as history books go. Addresses what must be the most underappreaciated/known campaigns of WWII. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adrienne | 10/6/2013

    " If you want to understand China and America's relationship today, this book will provide you with no better place to start. An amazing read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana Stabenow | 9/21/2013

    " Americans screwing up in Asia is a long tradition. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 3/26/2013

    " Book is a biography of U.S. Army General Joseph Stilwell who spent several tours in China ultimately leading the U.S. effort in Burma during WWII. Provides insight into both Communist and Nationalist leadership. Not flattering to Chiang Kai Shek. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roger Merritt | 9/17/2012

    " President Roosevelt sent General Stilwell to try to help Chiang Kai Shek. This describes one part of World War II which is largely forgotten. Some of Stilwell's troops are still in The Golden Triangle, mostly in the Burmese part. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bap | 7/28/2012

    " T%he americans were enthralled with the Chinese and convinced that with the proper aid democracy could flourish. Stillwell was aware of the huge inefficiencies and incompetence of the Chinese government but believed that the US model would ultimately succeed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine | 6/11/2012

    " An amazing story of an unknown hero. Also I learned a great deal about China's way of thinking. Have read twice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 4/19/2012

    " Biographical account of the life and experiences of Vinegar Joe Stilwell and the US campaign in China. So far-so good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Al Sumrall | 3/31/2012

    " A seminal history of our relations to the Far East and useful even today. America has not yet learned that some people in the world do not think as we do. A must read for any historian. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joel | 6/26/2011

    " Longer and less lyrical than Barbara Tuchman usually is, the book was still full of some fascinating stuff about a place, time and history that was relatively new territory to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Garth | 5/30/2011

    " An excellent book for anyone interested in China and SEAsia. Great writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 12/20/2010

    " Barbara W. Tuchman is an outstanding writer and a very good historian. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kendra | 6/24/2009

    " A biography of an interesting WWII general in China, as well as an epic story of the Japanese incursion into that country and the conflict between the Nationalists and Communists. A great read. I love Barbara Tuchman's work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine | 3/8/2009

    " An amazing story of an unknown hero. Also I learned a great deal about China's way of thinking. Have read twice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Garth | 11/6/2008

    " An excellent book for anyone interested in China and SEAsia. Great writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 10/16/2008

    " Americans screwing up in Asia is a long tradition. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 9/8/2008

    " Biographical account of the life and experiences of Vinegar Joe Stilwell and the US campaign in China. So far-so good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rodney | 6/22/2008

    " Excellent and thorough history, but ponderous to read unless one had a great interest in this era. Tuchman is a master historian, but not for the mass market. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bap | 3/22/2008

    " T%he americans were enthralled with the Chinese and convinced that with the proper aid democracy could flourish. Stillwell was aware of the huge inefficiencies and incompetence of the Chinese government but believed that the US model would ultimately succeed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brooks | 3/12/2008

    " Very good biography of a person in a job they dislike, while others of less experience get the glory. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 1/2/2008

    " vinegar joe! ya really learn a lot about china in the war and what a prick chiang kai-shek was. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joel | 12/15/2007

    " Longer and less lyrical than Barbara Tuchman usually is, the book was still full of some fascinating stuff about a place, time and history that was relatively new territory to me.

    "

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About the Author
Author Barbara W. Tuchman

Barbara W. Tuchman (1912–1989), American historian, was born in New York City and graduated from Radcliffe College in 1933. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1963 for The Guns of August and in 1972 for Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911–45.

About the Narrator

Pam Ward found her true calling reading books for the blind and physically handicapped for the Library of Congress’ Talking Books program. The fact that she can work with Blackstone Audio from the beauty of the mountains of Southern Oregon is an unexpected bonus. Her audiobook narration has won two AudioFile Earphones Awards.