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CHINA: The China lobby



Do you remember the China Lobby? China became "Red China" and inquisitors demanded to know "who lost China". May patriotic Americans were persecuted by the China Lobby. I recalled this when I read what John Gehl wrote about Clare Boothe Luce (1003-1987). Here are some relevant passages, with a reference to her Stanford connection. She married George Brokaw, and in.1924 she gave birth to a daughter, Ann Clare Brokaw, but her marriage ended in divorce. Ann Clare was one of my students:she was killed in an automobile accident while still an undergraduate. In 1935, at age 32, Clare married 37-year-old Henry Luce, publisher of Time and Fortune. After World War II began, she traveled to Europe as a journalist for Life magazine reporting her observations (later republished in her book Europe in the Spring) of Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and England in the midst of the German offensive.

In 1941, Clare and her husband toured China and reported for Life magazine on the status of the war with Japan. When the United States entered World War II, Clare toured Africa, India, China, and Burma, interviewing such key figures as General Alexander, Jawaharlal Nehru, Chiang Kai-Shek, and General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell. In 1942 Luce was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on a campaign platform that claimed President Roosevelt had brought the United States into World War II unprepared. Upon her reelection to a second House term in 1944, she began warning against the growing threat of International Communism, and was instrumental in the creation of the Atomic Energy Commission.

Devastated by the death of her daughter, she suffered a nervous breakdown, and after undergoing psychotherapy, she sought solace in religion, ultimately embracing the Roman Catholic faith. She endowed St. Anne's chapel in Palo Alto. In 1947, after her House term expired, she returned to writing, much of it religious in tone. In 1952 she also returned to politics, campaigning for Dwight Eisenhower, who rewarded her with an appointment as ambassador to Italy. In 1981 President Reagan appointed her to the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, She served on the board until 1983 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She died in 1987. See http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0822212706/newsscancom/ref=nosim.

Christianity was an important tie between her and Mme. Chiag Kai-Shek. We would be interested in details of the important role she and her husband played in the "Who lost China" fight. Perhaps China expert John Lewis will enlighten us. We would be interested also in any role Joe McCarthy played in the "Who lost China" campaign. Does the younger generation remember who Joe McCarthy was?

Ronald Hilton - 5/20/03


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