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历史对蒋介石的裁决或许过于严厉了

2009-05-22
蒋介石,评价蒋介石
The man who lost China
失去中国之人
May 7th 2009 From The Economist print edition
History may have judged Chiang Kai-shek too severely
历史对蒋介石的裁决或许过于严厉了

Corbis

IN IMPERIAL China, overthrown rulers were ill-treated in the official histories written by the dynasty that succeeded them. They were blamed for all the evils that justified the transfer of the mandate of heaven. Today, not all Chinese history is written by its latest winners, the Chinese Communist Party. But its victory certainly colours views of the Republican period that preceded the revolution.

在封建时代的中国,被推翻的统治者在下一朝编纂的正史中往往受到不公正的评价。他们被指责要为所有的罪行负责,而这些罪行则证明了天赋之君权易手的合理性。今天,并非所有的中国历史都是由最近的胜利者中国共产党编写的。但是中共的胜利无疑还是歪曲了人们对解放前的民国时期那段历史的看法。

One casualty of this has been the reputation of the Republic’s leader, Chiang Kai-shek. During the second world war, he was a hero in the West, feted in Cairo in 1943 by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt as the free world’s great hope against Japan and the Communists in China. But, after the war, as the armies of his Kuomintang (KMT) government crumbled in the face of Mao Zedong’s Communists, Chiang’s standing likewise disintegrated.

民国领袖蒋介石的名声便是其中一个受害者。二战期间,蒋介石在西方是一个英雄,他于1943年在开罗受到温斯顿•丘吉尔和富兰克林•罗斯福的宴请时被看作是自由世界抗击日本和中国国内共产主义分子的伟大希望。然而,二战结束后,随着他的国民政府的军队在毛泽东统帅下的共产党军队面前一败涂地,蒋介石的地位同样也分崩离析了。

The KMT was a dictatorial regime that had risen to power partly through exploiting its links with Shanghai gangsters. It was monstrously corrupt and mismanaged the economy into hyperinflation. It collapsed, largely, it seemed, under the weight of its own fecklessness and cruelty, and ended up ruling just Taiwan, from where Chiang dreamed ever more forlornly of recovering the mainland. Alliance with the dictatorship he brutally established there seemed one of those embarrassing right-wing entanglements the cold war foisted on America. Chiang himself, with his glamorous wife, Soong Mayling, his cool, austere manner and his comic-book title, “the Generalissimo”, seemed somewhere on the spectrum between joke and monster.

国民党是一个独裁政权,它的上台部分是通过利用与上海的不法分子相勾结而实现的。国民党极端腐败并对经济管理不善以至其陷入恶性通胀。国民党政权的倒台,似乎主要是迫于其自身无能而残暴的统治。尽管最后只能偏安台湾一隅,蒋介石还是日渐绝望地梦想着收复大陆。与蒋氏在台湾野蛮建立的独裁政权结盟似乎是冷战强加于美国的诸多令人尴尬的右翼势力主导的纠葛之一。蒋介石本人,他富有魅力的夫人宋美龄,以及他冷静而严厉的举止和来自于连环画册的头衔,“委员长”,似乎令他处于笑话和妖怪之间。

This enthralling book by Jay Taylor of Harvard University shows that these conventional views of both Chiang and the Chinese civil war are caricatures. It is the first biography to make full use of the Chiang family archive. This includes Chiang’s own diary, in which he wrote at least a page of classical Chinese daily from 1918 to 1972. The picture that emerges is of a far more subtle and prescient thinker than the man America’s General Joseph Stilwell used to refer to as “peanut”, and Britain’s chief of staff, Field-Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, dismissed in Cairo as “a cross between a pine marten and a ferret”.

这本由哈佛大学的杰伊•泰勒写作的引人入胜的书认为这些对蒋介石和中国内战的常规看法都是夸张歪曲的。这本书是第一本充分利用蒋氏家族档案写作的传记。这其中包括蒋介石本人的日记,从1918年到1972年蒋介石坚持每天写至少一页文言文的日记。蒋介石曾被美国的约瑟夫•史迪威将军曾经形容为“小人物”,在开罗更是被英军参谋总长、陆军元帅阿兰布鲁克勋爵贬低为“松貂和雪貂的杂交产物”,然而本书作者描绘出来的却是一个远比这两个人印象中的蒋氏更加敏锐、更有先见之明的思想者。

In the 1930s Chiang soon realised that his flirtation with Italian-style fascism and a corps of Chinese “blue shirts” was a mistake, asking “how would I differ from the Communists?” He foresaw that the Japanese occupation would never be defeated until America joined the war. Personally incorruptible, Mr Taylor believes, he also understood the damage that graft did to the KMT. Indeed, he seemed to know that the better-disciplined, more fiercely motivated Communists would win one day.

上世纪三十年代蒋介石很快认识到他追逐意大利式的法西斯主义和一帮中国的“蓝衣社”暴徒是个错误,并且自问“如此更与共匪何异?”他预见如果没有美国的参战,就无法结束日本对中国的占领。泰勒相信蒋介石本人为政清廉,而且他深知贪腐对国民党的毒害。的确,他似乎知道纪律更严明,士气更高涨的共产党人有朝一日将获得胜利。

Yet they need not have done. Mr Taylor recounts one of the pivotal moments in China’s civil war. This was the Xi’an incident of 1936, when Chiang was kidnapped by a warlord and pressed to form a united front with the Communists against the Japanese. Freed, Chiang had the chance of “an all-out military solution to the Communist problem”. But when an aide suggested finishing off the Communists, he “bent his head and did not answer. He had given his word.” How Mao must have laughed.

然而共产党人的胜利也不是必然的。泰勒记叙了中国内战中的一个关键时刻。这就是1936年的西安事变时,一个军阀绑架了蒋氏并强迫他与共产党人组成抗日统一战线。获释后,蒋介石有机会“全面地军事解决共产主义分子问题”。但是当一个助手提议铲除共产党人时,蒋氏“低下头默不作声。他不愿食言。”毛泽东该笑得多欢啊。

Other allies proved as fickle as Mao. In 1971, as Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger prepared their opening to China, and consequent ditching of Taiwan, their plans reached Chiang not from Washington, DC, but from Zhou Enlai, China’s premier. Mr Taylor assumes he passed on a chilling exchange in which the author claims Mr Kissinger seemed to “tolerate a military takeover of the island by the Chinese”.

其他盟友也跟毛泽东一样变幻无常。1971年正当理查德•尼克松和亨利•基辛格准备向中国伸出橄榄枝,并在之后抛弃台湾时,蒋介石不是从华盛顿而是从中国总理周恩来那里得悉了他们的计划。泰勒臆测周恩来向台湾传递了令人沮丧的信息,作者声称基辛格在其中似乎“对中国武力收复台湾表示宽容”。

By then, however, Chiang had come to think that the loss of the mainland might have been “providential”. It had allowed him to achieve “true progress” in developing Taiwan, impossible on the mainland because of “subversion” and civil war. But Taiwan was also an unpleasantly repressive place. Its impressive strides towards democracy, which have seen the KMT both lose power and regain it, came long after his death in 1975. It was his son, Chiang Ching-kuo, who will be remembered for ushering in political reform.

到那个时候,蒋介石已经认为失去大陆或许是“天意”。这使得他能够在发展台湾方面取得“真正的进展”,而这在饱受“颠覆”和内战蹂躏的大陆是不可能实现的。但是台湾也是饱受镇压的伤心之地。其令人印象深刻的朝民主的大步跃进伴随着国民党大权旁落后东山再起,但这一切距1975年蒋氏过世后已经过去了很多年。因引入政治改革而被人铭记的是蒋介石的儿子蒋经国。

Under the elder Chiang, the KMT remained what it had become in the 1920s, when, during its first united front with the Communists, it was, like them, built with Soviet advice on Leninist lines. Chiang Kai-shek’s Taiwan was in effect a one-party dictatorship presiding over a capitalist economy, pursuing hell-for-leather growth. Rather like present-day China, in fact. In this sense, Mr Taylor concludes, Chiang was not such a loser after all.

在蒋介石统治下,国民党保持了上世纪二十年代以来的样子,当时是国共第一次合作时期,国民党也跟共产党一样聘请苏联顾问遵循列宁主义。蒋介石统治下的台湾实际上是个一党专政的独裁政权,依靠资本主义经济实现了高速发展。事实上这跟今天的中国很像。在这一点上,泰勒总结到,蒋介石说到底并不是一位人们印象中那么失败的领袖。

Book details

The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China
By Jay Taylor

Harvard University Press; 722 pages; and £25.95

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