|Primary Format: Cloth|
|Size:||6 x 9 in.|
A Few Planes for China: The Birth of the Flying Tigers
Eugenie BuchanE-book: $26.99
Eugenie Buchan . . . has meticulously turned upside down the fable of that doughty band of Yank fighter pilots known as the Flying Tigers who early in World War II challenged the Japanese air assault on China. In so doing she has challenged orthodox World War II history and forces us to reconsider the broader story of just how America got entangled in the affairs of the corrupt, incompetent regime of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. . . . Debunking that myth, plus her well-written narrative of the AVG’s origins makes Ms. Buchan’s book an essential case study of how American foreign policy often goes so wrong.
—The Washington Times
The book traces the tortuous birth of the Flying Tigers. Where it breaks new ground is in showing that the British were crucial in getting them into combat. . . Eugenie Buchan, whose grandfather played an important initial role in this story has done a fine job in revealing the extent of British involvement.
—Military History Monthly
One of Ms. Buchan’s great contributions to the history of the Flying Tigers is to debunk the self-promoting story that Chennault peddled in his postwar memoir, "Way of a Fighter" (1949), which saw him arriving in Washington from China at the end of 1940 and, as if by magic, single-handedly creating the AVG over the course of the next few months. Historians and writers, including this reviewer, have largely cleaved to that story ever since. Ms. Buchan presents a corrective account that is more complicated, provocative and interesting-and probably more accurate.
—Wall Street Journal
A splendid piece of myth-busting history. The story of how American assistance built up China’s air force has been surrounded by many myths from both sides. . . . Eugenie Buchan shows in rigorous detail how commercial motivations and political maneuvering in the wartime era affected the growth of Chiang Kai-shek’s air force. This is a forceful and deeply researched account of an important episode in wartime history.
—Rana Mitter, director of the University China Centre and professor of the history and politics of modern China, University of Oxford
Eugenie Buchan has done admirable research in the British archives. Her conclusions are certain to spark a lively debate, and her book will be a great help to future historians of the American Volunteer Group.
—Daniel Ford, author of Flying Tigers: Clair
EUGENIE BUCHAN is an American independent historian living in London and the granddaughter of Bruce Leighton, a World War I naval aviator and international aircraft broker who played an early and crucial role in the birth of the Flying Tigers. She holds a PhD from Exeter University.