This dramatic and engaging book tells the story of the people who were displaced to Taiwan in the aftermath of China’s terrible mid-twentieth century civil war and how they and their descendants came to understand themselves in the years that followed. In 1949, as Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist (kmt) government and army collapsed in the face of the communist People’s Liberation Army, approximately 1 million people were relocated to the island of Taiwan, which had been a Japanese colony until three years earlier. These people have conventionally been understood as the Nationalist government’s supporters and its army. However, as Yang shows, many were simply caught up in the chaos of war—the wives of petty officials trying to find their husbands, for example, or teenage boys press-ganged by the retreating army. Once in Taiwan, they found themselves stranded, unable to have any contact with their homes and families, on opposite...
The Great Exodus from China: Trauma, Memory and Identity in Modern Taiwan by Dominic Meng-Hsuan Yang
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Henrietta Harrison; The Great Exodus from China: Trauma, Memory and Identity in Modern Taiwan by Dominic Meng-Hsuan Yang. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2021; 52 (2): 306–307. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/jinh_r_01726
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