Sunday, April 01, 2007

PREVIEW: China Doll

Who Paid?

According to a review of Laura Tyson Li's biography of Madame Chiang Kai-shek,

Madame Chiang Kai-Shek spent her final years in New York in a palatial Upper East Side apartment she regularly described as "modest." A bevy of loyal retainers insulated her from the outside world, ferrying her to shopping trips at Saks Fifth Avenue or shows at Radio City Music Hall. Madame's lavish lifestyle, Li suggests persuasively, was funded in large part by money gleaned from Nationalist-controlled government accounts and decades of business cronyism. In her twilight years she was a living anachronism, feminism and communism having undermined her particular style of faux-naif politics.
Taiwanese taxpayers footed the bill for Madame well after Nationalist rule ended.

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