Power of Freedom

Hu Shih's Political Writings

Subjects: Asian Studies, China, Political Science, International Relations
Paperback : 9780472055265, 384 pages, 6 x 9, October 2022
Open Access : 9780472903610, 384 pages, 6 x 9, October 2022
Hardcover : 9780472075263, 384 pages, 6 x 9, October 2022

Open access version made available with the support of The Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies (LRCCS)
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Collection of several previously unpublished works from one of China’s most important scholars in the 20th century

Table of contents

Introduction I:
A Chinese Diplomat in the Cold War: Hu Shih’s View on International Politics
Carlos Yu-Kai Lin

Introduction II:
Hu Shih’s Anti-Communist Thought
Chih-ping Chou

Chapter 1: “Do We Need or Want Dictatorship?”
Chapter 2: “Family of Nations”
Chapter 3: “The New Disorder in East Asia and the World at Large”
Chapter 4: “China and the World War”
Chapter 5: “Historical Foundations for a Democratic China”
Chapter 6: “Ambassador Hu Shih Describes China’s Ten-Year Fight for Freedom, Struggle Against Aggression”
Chapter 7: “The Conflict of Ideologies”
Chapter 8: “The Chinese Revolution”
Chapter 9: “China in Stalin’s Grand Strategy”
Chapter 10: “The Free World Needs a Free China”
Chapter 11: “Address to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, CA. in The Commonwealth, 1950”
Chapter 12: “Why the Main War Will Be Fought in Asia-Not Europe”
Chapter 13: “Communism in China”
Chapter 14: “My Former Student, Mao Tse-tung”
Chapter 15: Book review of John deFrancis’s Nationalism and Language Reform in China
Chapter 16: “How to Understand a Decade of Rapidly Deteriorated Sino-American Relations”
Chapter 17: “Communism, Democracy, and Culture Pattern”
Chapter 18: “China Seven Years after Yalta”
Chapter 19: “Suffering Chinese Intellectuals Behind the Iron Curtain”
Chapter 20: “China in Distress”
Chapter 21: “The Three Stages of the Campaign for Thought Reform in Communist China”
Chapter 22: “‘Introduction’ to Liu Shaw-tong’s Out of Red China”
Chapter 23: “‘Introduction’ to John Leighton Stuart’s Fifty Years in China”
Chapter 24: “Communist Propaganda and the Fall of China”
Chapter 25: “How Free is Formosa?”
Chapter 26: “The Right to Doubt in Ancient Chinese Thought”
Chapter 27: “The Importance of a Free China”
Chapter 28: “Intellectual China Still Resistant to Communist Dictatorship: The Suffering Intellectuals in Red China”
Chapter 29: “The Communist Regime in China is Unstable and Shaky”
Chapter 30: “A Sum-up and a Warning”
Chapter 31: “John Dewey in China”
Chapter 32: “China’s Lesson for Freedom”
Chapter 33: “The Conflict Between Man’s Right to Knowledge and the Security of the Community”
Chapter 34: “The Chinese Tradition and the Future”


Dr. Hu Shih (1891–1962) was one of China’s top scholars and diplomats and served as the Republic of China’s ambassador to the United States during World War II.  As early as 1941, Hu Shih warned of the fundamental ideological conflict between dictatorial totalitarianism and democratic systems, a view that later became the foundation of the Cold War narrative.  In the 1950s, after Mao’s authoritarian regime was established, Hu Shih started to analyze the development and nature of Communism, delivering a series of lectures and addresses to reveal what he called Stalin’s “grand strategy” for facilitating the International Communist Movement.

For decades—and today to a certain extent—Hu Shih’s political writings were considered sensitive and even dangerous.  As a strident critic of the Chinese Communist Party’s oligarchical practices, he was targeted by the CCP in a concerted national campaign to smear his reputation, cast aspersions on his writings, and generally destroy any possible influence he might have in China.  This volume brings together a collection of Hu Shih’s most important, mostly unpublished, English-language speeches, interviews, and commentaries on international politics, China-U.S. relations, and the International Communist Movement.  Taken together, these works provide an insider’s perspective on Sino-American relations and the development of the International Communist Movement over the course of the 20th century.

Chih-p’ing Chou is Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies at Princeton University.

Carlos Yu-Kai Lin is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation at the City University of Hong Kong.

“A good and essential record of Hu Shih’s role as public intellectual in the United States, his participation in the American discussion of international affairs during the Second World War, and the decade and a half following it.  Nobody who reads through the pieces in this anthology thoughtfully will come away from the experience unfulfilled.”
—David Curtis Wright, University of Calgary

- David Curtis Wright

“The essays collected here offer a very clear picture of Hu Shih’s contribution to the English-speaking world’s understanding of the modern Chinese political situation, traditional Chinese thought values, and China’s place in the world.”
—Josephine Chiu-Duke, University of British Columbia

- Josephine Chiu-Duke

"This book fills a lacuna for specialists on Hu Shih and historians of Sino-US relations."

- J. C. Kinkley