Jump to content
  • Sign Up

Life Magazine articles on China


Recommended Posts

A treasure trove of historical photos and articles on China from Life Magazine (a few are not directly about China, but still interesting).




LIFE Dec 28, 1936 The Cruel Chinese


LIFE Jul 26, 1937 The Chinese Shoot Back at the Japanese Around Peiping


LIFE Aug 16, 1937 Mei-ling Helps Her Husband Rule China


LIFE Sep 13, 1937 The Chinese Outfight the Japanese as Shanghai Blazes


LIFE Nov 1, 1937 Japan Beheads Rebellious Manchurians as "Bandits"


LIFE Nov 1, 1937 The Camera Overseas: The Yellow Race Looks at its Dead in War


LIFE Dec 6, 1937 Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, Calls His Reign Era of Radiant Peace


LIFE May 16, 1938 China Puts the Japanese Army on the Run: A unified nation reverses its war fortunes


LIFE Mar 24, 1941 China's Soong: Chiang's mysterious brother-in-law finds funds to keep China fighting


LIFE March 31, 1941 Chunking: Free China's Much Bombed Capital Fights On


LIFE May 12, 1941 India: War Threatens British Hold on Plum of Empire


LIFE Jun 30, 1941 China to the Mountains


LIFE Jul 7, 1941 The Defense Issue


LIFE July 28, 1941, War in China: 4000 Chungking Civilians Suffocate in Air Raid Shelter


LIFE Oct 20, 1941, Vital Chinese Front, Advance Guard of a Vast New Chinese


LIFE Feb 2, 1942 Singapore Bombing Japs Strike Early at Heart of the City


LIFE Feb 23, 1942 An Era of Empire Ends at Singapore


LIFE Mar 2, 1942 Chiang Kai-shek: The leader of fighting China plays a commanding role in the Allied war effort and the destiny of all Asia


LIFE May 4, 1942 Chinese Pilots: At Arizona's Thunderbird Field they are taught lessons of aerial combat


LIFE May 18, 1942 The Japanese Sweep Through Burma


LIFE May 18, 1942 How British in Burma Escaped a Jap Trap


LIFE May 18, 1942 World Oil Its Geography Guides the War


LIFE Apr 27, 1942 China Asks India Whether It Will Fight


LIFE Jun 15, 1942 Burma Mission: Reports on US General Stillwell and Staff Just Before they Took "A Hell of a Beating"


LIFE Aug 10, 1942 Chennault Fights to Hold the China Front: His new Army Air Force takes offensive against Japs


LIFE Sep 21, 1942 Letter from Hu Shih: Mankind Must Resolve to Make This the Last War


LIFE Sep 20, 1943 The Surrender of Italy


LIFE Dec 6, 1943 Heart of Asia First Photographic Mission to Sinkiang


LIFE Dec 13, 1943 Sinkiang: Land at the back of nowhere


LIFE May 1, 1944 News From China: It is not all bad, but bad enough to call for a review of the terms of our friendship


LIFE May 1, 1944 "Life" Looks at China: Through the blockade one of its correspondents brings this first hand report


LIFE Aug 7, 1944 Letter from Sun Fo (孙科, son of Sun Yat-sen): Democracy in China


LIFE Sep 11, 1944 The Hump: The Historic Airway to China was Created by US Heroes


LIFE Apr 9, 1945 Woodcuts Help Fight China's Battles


LIFE Sep 10, 1945 US Occupies Japan


LIFE Nov 19, 1945 China: What Price Peace? If we mean what we say about internationalism, we will stick by our wartime friends now


LIFE Dec 10, 1945 General Marshall Gets China Assignment


LIFE May 13, 1946 China Famine Millions are starving in the once-rich "rice bowl"


LIFE Aug 30, 1948 How We Won the War and Lost the Peace: Ambassador Bullitt looks back on 15 years of US foreign policy (Part 1)


LIFE Sept 6, 1948 How We Won the War and Lost the Peace: Ambassador Bullitt looks back on 15 years of US foreign policy (Part 2)


LIFE Nov 22, 1948 The Siege of Taiyuan: Here and at Suchow, Chiang's much defeated armies fight desperately for the life of Nationalist China


LIFE Nov 22, 1948 Disaster in China


LIFE Jan 31, 1949 Chiang Gives Up and an Era Ends


LIFE Apr 11, 1949 Chinese Cadre in Formosa


LIFE Apr 18, 1949 Peace Seeker: Acting President Li Tsung-jen of China


LIFE Apr 18, 1949 The Pact is Signed Ratification of Atlantic Treaty (i.e. NATO) seems sure, but the arms program is in doubt


LIFE Jul 11, 1949 Last Call for China: A fighting American says that a third of its good earth and 150 million can be saved by Claire Chennault


LIFE Aug 22, 1949 What's Next in Asia


LIFE Oct 3, 1949 US Detects Atomic Blast in Russia


LIFE Oct 3, 1949 An American who risked Amnyi Machen's "jinx" claims that Asian peak is higher than Everest


LIFE Dec 31, 1951 Rise of the Red Star: A look into a forbidden land reveals how China's bosses have ruthlessly consolidated their power


LIFE Dec 7, 1953 Out of Burma to Join Chiang: Nationalists agree to quit jungle


LIFE Jan 23, 1956 Truman, China and History


LIFE Jan 23, 1956 The Truman Memoirs: Although the Reds 'turned their back on the negotiations' the former President argues that Marshall's mission to China could have succeeded if Chiang had been 'more conciliatory'


LIFE Aug 20, 1956 Editorial: Let's Get the News in Red China


LIFE Jun 24, 1957 Chiang versus Communism: His Personal Account


LIFE Oct 6, 1961 Chiang: Our Embattled Ally


LIFE May 28, 1965 The Nuclear Power of China


LIFE Jan 20, 1967 "Tatzepao" Grim News for China


LIFE Jun 2, 1967 A cultural leader escapes Mao's China and tells his story: Terror at the Hands of the Red Guard


LIFE Sep 29, 1967 China Must Update Its Own Fable


LIFE Apr 30, 1971 The Great Wall Comes Down

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"How We Won the War and Lost the Peace: Ambassador Bullitt looks back on 15 years of US foreign policy" is a masterpiece article... definitely worth the read for anyone who's into Cold War history, US-China relations, IR...etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it is a great article. While he is very critical of FDR's policies, the author William Bullitt was a long-time senior advisor of FDR. He was the first US ambassador to the Soviet Union, after its founding, and was an ambassador to France during the war.

By the way, the publisher of Life Magazine, Henry Luce, was born in China (near Yantai, Shandong) to American missionary parents. He lived in China until the age of 14, when he went to the US for high school. He bought Life Magazine in 1936 and redesigned it with a focus on photojournalism, with a combination of both serious news and entertainment. Luce is also the founder of Time and Fortune magazines.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Luce put Chiang Kaishek and Song Meiling on the cover of Time Magazine numerous times. He was influential in shaping American public opinion toward China, and was an important figure in the China Lobby.

By the way, I recently read about Xue Yue, the Cantonese general who led the KMT armies against the Japanese at the Battles of Changsha. What was interesting about Xue is that he constantly defied Chiang's orders and still defeated the Japanese. In those days, you would get shot for insubordination against Chiang, especially on the battlefield. Yet Xue was right and Chiang was wrong.

One evening Xue phoned Chiang to reveal his intention of defying Chiang's order regarding tactical strategy at Changsha. Chiang was sleeping, and Song Meiling picked up the phone instead. Xue was so confident that he told Meiling his willingness to be executed if his insubordination proved fatal. Song Meiling told Xue Yue to not worry about it, and proceed with his own plans at Changsha. She knew her husband was a control freak who likes to micromanage decisions.

Xue eventually succeeded in defeating the Japanese. He completely owned them in three Changsha battles, in 1939, 1941, and 1942. The Japanese were unable to advance toward the capital Chongqing because of their casualties in Hunan. When Xue settled in Taiwan, Chiang gave him a big retirement pension.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I came across this website on the Battle of Changde in Hunan: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=101&t=108616

The Japanese used biological and chemical weapons at Changde and still lost the battle. The battle was another one of Xue Yue's victories. It was a strategic victory for the KMT 9th Front defending the city. About 300,000 civilians died in the chemical attack.

Xue Yue, besides being an outstanding tactician, was a principled general. He supported Chiang Kaishek's kidnapping. He personally offered to arrest Chiang if Chiang refused to fight the Japanese.

Such insubordination was rare because Xue was a Whampoa graduate from Guangzhou, and Whampoa graduates are known for their loyalty to Chiang. Throughout his career Chiang gave preferential treatment to Whampoa generals at the expense of officers from other schools. An example is the way Chiang treated Sun Liren in Taiwan, a competent general and graduate from Purdue and VMI.

I guess the main reason Chiang forgave Xue Yue for supporting his kidnapping was because Xue was so outstanding against the Japanese. Also, confident leadership was a rarity those days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...