Losing China: Daniel Kurtz-Phelan on George Marshall’s Less Glorious Mission

By U.S. National Archives – Groom, Winston (November 10, 2015): The Generals: Patton, MacArthur, Marshall, and the Winning of World War II. National Geographic. ISBN: 978-1426215490, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=100899507

General George Marshall occupies a central place in the pantheon of American heroes. He helped lead the Allies to victory in World War II, and as the secretary of state, he championed the plan to rebuild Europe which would be named for him: The Marshall Plan. But Marshall’s record as a statesman wasn’t perfect. Tapped by President Truman to negotiate an end to China’s civil war, he proved unable to broker a lasting settlement and prevent the country’s Communist takeover.

In this episode, the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah concludes Season 3 of None Of The Above with a discussion of Marshall’s legacy with Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, the editor of Foreign Affairs and the author of The China Mission: George Marshall’s Unfinished War, 1945-1947. As the United States deals with competing global challenges, from Ukraine to Taiwan, Daniel’s depiction of Marshall’s career—for all its triumphs and failures—holds important lessons on the limits of American power. Have a listen, and stay tuned for when we return in June for Season 4.

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