Cultural Literacy: Chiang Kai-shek

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Chiang Kai-shek, the Generalissimo, as he was known for his service to the Chinese National Revolutionary Army.

Like Mao Zedong (of which more tomorrow), Chiang is a controversial figure. His record of imposing the White Terror on the island of Taiwan says quite a lot about him, I think. 38 years is a long run of martial law by any standard I recognize. The Kuomintang, known for its excesses, used anxiety about the Chinese Communist Party to sustain oppression of political opposition across the period of the White Terror. As in most tyrannies, one example serves to illustrate the absurdity of the oppression, to wit the case of Bo Yang, who made the mistake of translating a Popeye cartoon in a way that didn’t conform to the Kuomintang political orthodoxy.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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