Power of Freedom
Hu Shih’s Political Writings
Collection of several previously unpublished works from one of China’s most important scholars in the 20th century
Dr. Hu Shih (1891–1962) was one of China’s top scholars and diplomats and served as the Republic of China’s ambassador to the United States during World War II. As early as 1941, Hu Shih warned of the fundamental ideological conflict between dictatorial totalitarianism and democratic systems, a view that later became the foundation of the Cold War narrative. In the 1950s, after Mao’s authoritarian regime was established, Hu Shih started to analyze the development and nature of Communism, delivering a series of lectures and addresses to reveal what he called Stalin’s “grand strategy” for facilitating the International Communist Movement.
For decades—and today to a certain extent—Hu Shih’s political writings were considered sensitive and even dangerous. As a strident critic of the Chinese Communist Party’s oligarchical practices, he was targeted by the CCP in a concerted national campaign to smear his reputation, cast aspersions on his writings, and generally destroy any possible influence he might have in China. This volume brings together a collection of Hu Shih’s most important, mostly unpublished, English-language speeches, interviews, and commentaries on international politics, China-U.S. relations, and the International Communist Movement. Taken together, these works provide an insider’s perspective on Sino-American relations and the development of the International Communist Movement over the course of the 20th century.
Praise / Awards
“A good and essential record of Hu Shih’s role as public intellectual in the United States, his participation in the American discussion of international affairs during the Second World War, and the decade and a half following it. Nobody who reads through the pieces in this anthology thoughtfully will come away from the experience unfulfilled.”
—David Curtis Wright, University of Calgary
“The essays collected here offer a very clear picture of Hu Shih’s contribution to the English-speaking world’s understanding of the modern Chinese political situation, traditional Chinese thought values, and China’s place in the world.”
—Josephine Chiu-Duke, University of British Columbia
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