China’s Prima Donna: The Politics of Celebrity in Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s 1943 U.S. Tour

Advisors: Natasha J. Lightfoot (Columbia), Odd Arne Westad (LSE)

Dana’s Columbia-LSE dissertation was on Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s (Soong Mayling) 1943 tour of the United States. Drawing on Chinese-language archives in Taiwan and California, it unearthed the secret correspondence between the inner circles of Madame Chiang’s official entourage of diplomats and politicians, and how they helped to fashion the image of her as a political celebrity to the American media. 

Madame Chiang speaking at a New Life Movement rally. Source: Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan.