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Worn like a slicker in a storm

“Familiar with the plight of the Chinese peasant and unfamiliar with Marxism, Stillwell regarded the Communists as a local phenomenon and a natural outcome of oppression. ‘Carrying their burdens of famine and drought, heavy rent and interest, squeezed by middlemen, absentee landlordism,’ he wrote of the farmers, ‘naturally they agitated for a readjustment of land ownership and this made them communists—at least that is the label put on them. Their leaders adopted the methods and slogans of communism but what they were really after was land ownership under reasonable conditions. It is not in the nature of Chinese to be communists.’ “ – Barbara Tuchman, Stillwell and the American Experience in China

Published inBarbara TuchmanEconomicsJoseph StillwellPolitics & LawThe Second World War

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