Ch'en Li-fu. Eds. and comps., Sidney H. Chang and Ramon H. Myers. The Storm Clouds Clear Over China: The Memoir of Ch'en Li-fu, 1900-1993. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1994.
Surveillant 4.1: "A first-hand account of the Kuomintang (KMT) by one of the most important figures in China's Nationalist era.... [H]e provides a rare account of the emergence of the KMT's secret services, but this constitutes only a small fraction of this book." For Henderson, IJI&C 15.2, the editors of Ch'en Li-fu's memoirs "have provided an excellent set of annotated notes from Chinese and English sources to place him in the context of the historical and political events in China and Taiwan, particularly between 1925 and 1950."
Esselstrom, Erik W. "Japanese Police and Korean Resistance in Prewar China: The Problem of Legal Legitimacy and Local Collaboration." Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 3 (Jun. 2006): 342-363.
Tells the "story of Japanese police activity in prewar China and a failed attempt to employ local collaborators in the suppression of anti-Japanese organizations operating within Chinese territory during the ealry 1920s."
Moreira, Peter. Hemingway on the China Front: His WWII Spy Mission with Martha Gellhorn. Dulles, VA: Potomac, 2006.
Miller, IJI&C 21.2 (Summer 2008), notes that this work concerns a trip Hemingway and Gellhorn made to China from January to May 1941. "At the behest of Harry Dexter White," Hemingway had "agreed to 'spy' for the Treasury Department." This is a "lively and informative book"; and it draws "memorable profiles of two accomplished writers at work and the limits and vagaries of American intelligence-gathering on the China front."
Sawyer, Ralph D., with Mei-Chu Lee Sawyer. The Tao of Deception: Unorthodox Warfare in Historic and Modern China. New York: Basic Books, 2007.
Peake, Studies 51.4 (2007), notes that the author "acknowledges the use of deception in the West, but he contends it is not yet as integrated into military thinking and planning as it is in China." This book is not easy reading. However, "for those who are concerned about China's historic and contemporary approaches to intelligence and deception operations, it is worth the effort."
For Arpin, NWCR 61.1 (Winter 2008), the author "has produced an enlightening study of the beginnings and the evolution of deception in Chinese political and military history.... The book abounds with examples of how a little deception or unconventional application can have a great effect on outcomes.... This book reads well. A dynastic chronology helps place the events in historical (Chinese, if not world) context. However, maps would have greatly assisted understanding."
Bartholomees, Parameters 38.1 (Spring 2008), notes that "the book is really a study of the history of the Chinese concept of unorthodox warfare." Basically, the author "interprets the tao of deception as doing everything imaginable to put your enemy in the most disadvantageous position possible before fighting.... If Sawyer's book disappoints, it is in the comparative scarcity of its analysis of modern Chinese military thought. Less than 30 pages deal directly with the subject -- although there are scattered modern references throughout the book."
Sawyer, Ralph D. The Tao of Spycraft: Intelligence Theory and Practice in Traditional China. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1998.
Cohen, FA 77.6 (Nov.-Dec. 1998), notes that this work consists of "substantial translations of and commentaries on classic Chinese texts ... on early Chinese history, espionage, covert action, theories of intelligence assessment, military intelligence, and divination." For Paschall, MHQ Review, Spring 1999, this work "is written in a professional and straightforward manner.... [I]t reveals early Chinese thinking about a vital craft that can save lives and extend a nation's reach and purpose."
Finding that "[t]his work is not without flaws," Arpin, NWCR 60.1 (Winter 2007), comments that it "assumes that the reader has a basic understanding of traditional Chinese history and culture; some sections may be hard going for the casual reader. Parts of the book are rather dry," reflecting "the extensive translations more than the author's style. But for serious students of China, intelligence tradecraft, or information operations, this book provides essential understanding of contemporary Chinese statecraft."
Wakeman, Frederic, Jr. Spymaster: Dai Li and the Chinese Secret Service. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2003.
Reviews have been mixed on this work. Unsinger, IJI&C 18.1 (Spring 2005), finds that this book "provides background material and some idea of just how the BIS [Bureau of Investigation and Statistics] functioned." However, it has sourcing problems: "some cited sources would be difficult to justify.... Still others are questionable.... Other sources seem to be indicators of possible bias."
On the other hand, Kruh, Cryptologia 28.2, says that this "comprehensive biography ... opens a unique window on the clandestine history of China's Republican period." The author "masterfully illuminates a previously little-understood world as he discloses the details of Chinese secret service tradecraft." And Bergin, Studies 53.1 (Mar. 2009), says that "Spymaster is a rich, but very complex book, difficult to read in places, but rewarding for the reader willing to struggle through the difficult parts."
For Rawnsley, I&NS 19.2, "this detailed and exceptional biography ... makes an important contribution to the study of Chinese history." The author's "lucid narrative and descriptive prowness bring to life the structures" of Chiang Kai-shek's powers. The author "has written what is sure to become the definitive analysis of Chinese intelligence in the first half " of the 20th century. To Henderson, IJI&C 18.3 (Fall 2005), this "masterly-written biography ... is a tour de force.... It also provides an excellent background survey of internal Chinese politics" from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s.
Walker, C. Lester. "China's Master Spy." Harper's Magazine, Aug. 1946, 162-169.
Tai Li headed the Military (later Central) Bureau of Investigation and Statistics from 1929 until his death in 1946.
Wasserstein, Bernard. Secret War In Shanghai: Treachery, Subversion and Collaboration in the Second World War. London: Profile, 1998. Secret War in Shanghai: An Untold Story of Espionage, Intrigue, and Treason in World War II. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999.
Pye, FA 79.2 (Mar.-Apr. 2000), believes that the author "has brillantly captured both the ambiance of the time and the personalities of its many shady actors.... Shanghai's self-contained social world kept the intelligence agencies so busy that it did not seem to matter that their activities had almost no effect on the war itself." However, Wilkinson, JMH 64.3, finds too much effort to sensationalize here, calling the book "tabloid history." And the connection with the broader war is tenuous, since "[m]ost of the people [Wasserstein] writes about were agents acting in their own behalf."
To Mercado, Intelligencer 11.1, Wasserstein "delivers little of what is implicitly promised" by the book's title, dust jacket, and introduction. The author "fails to tell a compelling tale of the secret war in Shanghai by paying attention to the history's characters in inverse proportion to their importance.... [He] all but ignore[s] the Japanese and Chinese principals in Shanghai's shadow war, ... [and] fails even to give a decent accounting of American and British intelligence operations."
Yardley, Herbert. The Chinese Black Chamber: An Adventure in Espionage. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1983.
Petersen identifies The Chinese Black Chamber as the author's "manuscript on [his] 1938-40 service to Chiang Kai-shek, hidden for 40 years." For Sexton, this book "furnishes insight into the author's character and the little-known wartime Chinese cryptographic service."
Yeh, Wen-hsin. "Dai Li and the Liu Geqing Affair: Heroism in the Chinese Secret Service during the War of Resistance." Journal of Asian Studies 48, no. 3 (Aug. 1989): 545-562.
Calder: Discusses "Dai Li's motivational work as head of ... China's military intelligence branch during the ... Japanese occupation."
Yu, Maochun. "Chinese Codebreakers, 1927-45." Intelligence and National Security 14, no. 1 (Spring 1999): 201-213.
The author surveys KMT Sigint efforts, including the early work of T.V. Soong's nephew, Y.C. Wen (Wen Yuqing); Tai Li's radio intelligence activities against the Japanese; Yardley's advanced training of Chinese cryptanalysts; the activities of SACO; and efforts toward international cooperation in Sigint with the British and Americans. He concludes that interservice rivalries among the Nationalist forces and "fundamental distrust and suspicion" between the British and the Chinese "obviated the strategic value of China's codebreaking skills to the Allied war effort."
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