The Columns

Jeans Gives Lecture at Marshall Foundation

— by on April 9th, 2012

Roger Jeans, Elizabeth Lewis Otey Professor of East Asian History Emeritus at Washington and Lee University, provided fresh perspectives on George C. Marshall’s famous mission to China in a talk he gave at the George C. Marshall Foundation earlier this month.

For the presentation, Roger drew on his recent book, “The Marshall Mission to China, 1945-1947: The Letters and Diary of Colonel John Hart Caughey” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2011), for detailed portraits of the mediation roles of several famous Americans and Chinese as seen through the eyes of Marshall’s executive officer, Col. Caughey.

Roger used Caughey’s letters and diary for a behind-the-scenes view of Marshall’s unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a unified government between the Communist Party of China and the Nationalists. The material also offers intimate glimpses of such major Chinese figures as Chiang Kai-shek, Madame Chiang and Zhou Enlai, along with details of life in China during the Civil War.

Roger taught at Washington and Lee from 1974 until his retirement in 2006. He is the author or editor of numerous books, articles and papers on modern East Asian history. The site of his talk, the George C. Marshall Foundation, is just a few steps from W&L, on the southern end of the VMI campus.