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Wuhan, 1938War, Refugees, and the Making of Modern China$
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Stephen MacKinnon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520254459

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520254459.001.0001

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(p.1) Prologue
Wuhan, 1938


University of California Press

The story of Wuhan in 1938 has two dimensions—the military and the social—that are of crucial importance to the history of modern China. Due to a lack of a comprehensive military history of the Anti-Japanese War, this chapter aims to reconstruct the hard facts of the military defense of Wuhan and the central Yangzi before discussing social and cultural matters in depth. This interrelationship is the key to understanding why Wuhan did not suffer the panic and chaos that engulfed Nanjing and Jinan when these cities were under siege by the Japanese in late 1937. The Wuhan period suggests that the Anti-Japanese War brought changes to Chinese society, culture, and politics analogous to those that occurred after World War I in Europe.

Keywords:   modern China, military history, Wuhan, Anti-Japanese War, Chinese society

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