James Bradley is the author of the New York Times bestsellers THE IMPERIAL CRUISE, FLYBOYS and FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, and the son of one of the men who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima. He lives in New York State.
James Bradley introduces us to the prominent Americans who, in the 1800s, made their fortunes in the China opium trade. Meanwhile, American missionaries sought a myth: noble Chinese peasants eager to Westernize. The media propagated this mirage, and FDR believed that supporting Chiang Kai-shek would make China America's best friend in Asia. But Chiang was on his way out, and when Mao Zedong instead came to power, Americans were shocked, wondering how we had "lost China." From the 1850s to the origins of the Vietnam War, Bradley reveals how American misconceptions about China have distorted our policies and led to the avoidable deaths of millions.