Saturday, February 22, 2014

Professor Rana Mitter Interview! (2/21/14)

In one of the most in-depth and informative historical interviews you will ever hear...Professor Rana Mitter, from, The University of Oxford, is a very welcome and distinguished guest on TRP!

He is Director of the University China Centre at the University of Oxford, where he is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China. He is the author of several books, including the award-winning A Bitter Revolution: China’s Struggle with the Modern World (Oxford, 2004). His new book China’s War with Japan, 1937-45: The Struggle for Survival, was published by Penguin in June 2013 (in North America, under the title Forgotten Ally in September 2013) and was described as “superb” by the New York Times and "must reading for anyone seeking a full perspective on the Pacific war" in the Washington Times. He was featured in the New York Times Sunday Book Review.

Rana is a regular presenter on BBC Radio in the UK. His reviews and essays have appeared in newspapers including the Financial Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Caijing, and Outlook (India).  He speaks regularly on China in the UK and around the world.

Frank & Professor Mitter discuss the incredible and not often talked about aspects of the struggle between Chinese Nationalism and Japanese Imperialism. Also, the personal clash between Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-Shek and the reasons for the eventual Nationalist defeat at the hands of the Communists by 1949.

The "Long March" has been glamorized in Communist mythology, but it is actually a "Long Retreat" by the Communists. Also, the somewhat paradoxical alliance of "extreme anti-Communist" Chiang Kai-Shek and Joseph Stalin. Stalin's motives behind the alliance in 1936 are explained.

The reasons for the Japanese strategy of attacking the Soviet eastern border and the Japanese leadership's internal disputes are discussed along with the book, Japan, 1941: Countdown to Infamy, by Eri Hotta.

The now classic book, The Rape Of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust Of World War II, written by Rana's late friend Iris Chang, is brought up when describing the Japanese war crimes against China. Crimes, Professor Mitter describes as one of the most sad and brutal episodes in history!

Also, a topic that is heavily in the news at the moment, Rana predicts the future of Chinese/Japanese tensions! He also gives his very prescient analysis of China's economy today! Proto-Capitalistic or what John From Conn describes as (appropriately to the topic) a "Paper tiger?"