The Oral History of Zhang Xueliang is part of Columbia University’s Chinese oral history project. It is based on the transcripts of a series of 60 interviews with Zhang and his wife (Edith Chao 趙一荻) conducted by two Columbian scholars during 1991-1993. The transcripts and 145 audio cassettes of these interviews are now housed at the Peter H. L. and Edith C. Chang Reading Room in the Columbia University Library.
The current edition consists of seven volumes, including six volumes of transcripts carefully checked, edited, and annotated by Chinese scholars and one index and annotation volume. The Oral History not only recounts Zhang’s personal life but also contains his comments on many historical events he personally experienced and influential figures he met.
The most comprehensive, formal, and candid oral history of Zhang Xueliang published thus far.
Recounts Zhang’s personal life but also contains his comments on many historical events he personally experienced and influential figures he met.
All transcripts have been carefully checked, edited, and annotated by Chinese historians.
Zhang Xueliang or Chang Hsueh-liang (1901–2001) was the son of General Zhang Zuolin, a warlord from the northeastern part of China. After the assassination of his father by the Japanese in June 1928, he became the effective ruler of Manchuria and much of northern China, and later the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Nationalist Army when a full-scale war broke out between the two countries. As an instigator of the Xi’an Incident during which he kidnapped General Chiang Kai-shek, the then president of China, and forced him to forge a coalition with the Communists led by Mao Zedong to fight against the Japanese invaders, Zhang was detained by Chiang and spent over fifty years under house arrest in China and Taiwan. Set free in 1990, he moved to the US in 1995 and passed away in 2001.