A Singular Woman

Her temperament and the times were well matched. It was 1942: Japan had just bombed Pearl Harbor, and the Republic of China was struggling to resist the invading forces of imperial Japan. Soong Mei-ling, then 45 and the wife of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, happened to be in the U.S. for medical reasons. Seizing the opportunity to champion her country's cause, she summoned all her energy and flashing-eyed eloquence to the task of urging the U.S. to side with her embattled land. For seven months, Madame Chiang, as she was best known in the West, seemed to be everywhere: speaking at Madison...

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