Cheques all cashed

Mur­ray Sayle’s gos­sipy, bitchy “review(link to the UK Spec­ta­tor magazine)”:–11-08&id=1851 of a new book that picks over the car­cass of the nationalist/comunist/unification wars in Chi­na in which Soong Mei-ling—“dead(link to Guardian obit)”:,3604,1070635,00.html only last month—played a small, if mem­o­rable, part. Sayle sums up the Gen­er­al­isi­mo with a sour rec­ol­lec­tion bq. Gen­er­al Joseph “Vine­gar Joe” Stil­well, the Amer­i­can chief of staff forced on him by Pres­i­dent Roo­sevelt, referred to him as “The Peanut” because of his short stature and shiny bald head, and described him to a jour­nal­ist as “an igno­rant, illit­er­ate, super­sti­tious, peas­ant son-of-a-bitch”. Accord­ing to the review, it seems that the Gimo—as Chi­ang called himself—was also a bigamist. Inter­est­ing to spec­u­late whether Mei-ling knew this. It would have been in charc­ter for both of them if she had.

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