Associate Professor of Government Grace Huang has published a new book that reconsiders the leadership and legacy of the controversial twentieth-century Chinese leader, Chiang Kai-shek.
The book, titled "Chiang Kai-shek’s Politics of Shame: Leadership, Legacy, and National Identity," draws from an uncensored collection of Chiang Kai-shek’s diaries, telegrams, and speeches to paint a new portrait of the 20th-century leader who advanced Confucian politics of shame to confront Japanese incursion into China and urge unity among his people.
“The initial research for this book was like a collection of wildflowers,” said Huang, whose research focuses on political leadership in China. “Using a dictionary, I plucked materials from the archives based on what I was able to translate.”
By comparing Chiang’s response to imperialism to those of leaders like Mao Zedong, Yuan Shikai, and Mahatma Gandhi, Huang widens the implications of her findings to explore alternatives to Western expressions of nationalism and modernity. She reveals how leaders of vulnerable states can use potent cultural tools to inspire their country and contribute to an enduring national identity.
Huang’s book is a part of the Harvard University’s Asia Center sub-collection, East Asian Monographs Series. Initiated in 1956, the series now includes more than 400 published titles.
Huang has been at St. Lawrence since 2005 and teaches courses like Comparative Politics, Asia: Beyond the Great Wall, Chinese Politics, Research Seminar: China’s Rise, and political leadership. Her research interests include political leadership, the political uses of shame in Chinese leadership, and rural to urban migration to China. Huang holds both a Ph.D. and master’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.