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The China MystiquePearl S. Buck, Anna May Wong, Mayling Soong, and the Transformation of American Orientalism$
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Karen Leong

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520244221

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520244221.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Mayling Soong

Mayling Soong

Chapter:
(p.106) Chapter 4 Mayling Soong
Source:
The China Mystique
Author(s):

Karen J. Leong

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520244221.003.0004

Mayling Soong was known to most Americans as Madame Chiang Kai-shek, who symbolized the changing relations between the United States and China during the late 1930s through the 1940s. Soong was a symbol not only of China's new womanhood but of new China as well. While nationalism is inherently gendered, Soong's position was unique, because for the Americans, she personified the traditionally masculine as well as the feminine role of China. Mayling Soong experienced American culture before she arrived in the United States. She grew up in the cosmopolitan environment of Wuhan, in which she and her siblings enjoyed the relative privilege of her father's wealth and American connections. Her American education, Christian faith, and the politics of her family further contributed to Soong's knowledge about the United States.

Keywords:   Mayling Soong, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, symbol, relationship, United States, China

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