Last fall the Asia Pacific Memo sat down with Pai Hsien-yung (Bai Xianyong 白先勇), the renowned novelist and son of Pai Chung-hsi (Bai Chongxi 白崇禧, 1893–1966), a gifted general and strategist, key Kuomintang leader, and close associate of Chiang Kai-shek, with whom he had a long and stormy relationship.
While Pai Hsien-yung is a worthy subject in his own right, in this video interview his focus—and ours—is on his famous father, Pai Chung-hsi. Pai recently completed a two-volume photo-biography of his father entitled Father and the Republic (Fuqin yu Minguo 父親與民國). Here Pai discusses his father’s major influence on the course of modern Chinese history, and in particular his leadership during three decisive military conflicts. He also speaks of his experience writing Father and the Republic, the challenges he faced during the research process, and his hopes for what the work might accomplish.
Interviewed by Prof. Christopher G. Rea
Dr. Christopher G. Rea is Assistant Professor of Modern Chinese Literature in the Department of Asian Studies, The University of British Columbia.
- Diana Lary, “Review of Fuqin yu Minguo [Father and the Republic],” Journal of Chinese Military History, 2:1 (2013)
- “The Republic of China: Restoring a Father’s and a Nation’s Life Story,” Asia Pacific Memo #167
- The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Brief biography of Pai Hsien-yung