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On Taiwan: ‘John Foster Dulles and the Fate of Taiwan’

“John Foster Dulles and the Fate of Taiwan” by James C.H. Wang, Yu Shan Publishers, Taipei, 2021, 268 pages, NT$450.00

I shall begin this book review with an allusion to that legendary “hunk of burning love” Elvis Presley whose seductive voice, terpsichorean undulation and virile pulchritude made him the world’s first “rock star” in 1957. American bobby-soxers all were a-swoon with him. All, that is, except for Carol Burnett. Ms. Burnett’s hit song, “I made a fool of myself for John Foster Dulles,” the ballad of a young woman “simply on fire with desire for John Foster Dulles,” was a paradoxical antidote to Presleymania. Fun Fact: that 45-rpm single record launched Ms. Burnett, now 89, into seven decades of international stardom and acclaim.

We now have an equally momentous, albeit infinitely more elegant, appreciation of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s saturnine secretary of state, John Foster Dulles, by the eminent Taiwanese-American journalist/historian James C.H. Wang (王景弘).

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