Honorable Survivor

Mao's China, McCarthy's America, and the Persecution of John S. Service
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Published:October 1, 2009
By Lynne Joiner (Author)

Winner of the American Academy of Diplomacy's 2010 Douglas Dillon Award

For a Book of Distinction on the Practice of American Diplomacy

Honorable Survivor weaves John S. Service’s extraordinary story into the fabric of a watershed moment in our history when World War II was ending, the Cold War was dawning, and the McCarthy era witch-hunters were stirring. The book reveals how people, policy, and politics mix to create the circumstances of our lives--and the experiences of one man who came to be at the center of a series of extraordinary events involving the fate of nations. A true story of intrigue, adventure, persecution, and redemption– and the love of a loyal American wife and a Chinese lover, this biography chronicles the experiences of John S. Service. Emmy award-winning journalist Lynne Joiner tells the tale of Service, an idealistic U.S. Foreign Service officer in wartime China who had the misfortune of often being right although U.S. policymakers refused to heed his prescient reporting. He predicted Mao Tse-tung’s successful revolution long before anyone else even knew the Chinese Communists were a potent force, and, subsequently, he became Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s first victim. The author describes how Service was fired for “doubtful” loyalty--but won his job back in the U.S. Supreme Court, only to have his career “neutralized” by the FBI, anti-Communist politicians, the China lobby, and Chiang Kai-shek’s secret police. Born and raised in China by YMCA missionaries, Service became America’s key liaison with the Communist Chinese when Gen. Joseph Stilwell wanted their help against the Japanese. Later, he became a target of revenge for Nationalist Chinese, a convenient scapegoat for American politicians eager to advance their careers, and a “person of interest” to J. Edgar Hoover for more than a quarter century. Joiner was given special access to Service’s private papers and photographs with Mao and Chou En-lai, among others, and gained access to FBI, CIA, and State Department security records as well as confidential transcripts of congressional hearings and federal loyalty review boards. Although newly released Soviet and U.S. documents demonstrate that some of his wartime associates were in fact identified as Communist spies or fellow travelers, Joiner shows that Service was an honorable survivor who was innocent of McCarthy's charges.

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Product Details
  • Subject: Cold War
  • Hardback : 448 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (October 1, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 159114423X
  • ISBN-13: 9781591144236
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 0 lb

Lynne Joiner is an award-winning broadcast journalist, news anchor, and documentary filmmaker. Her work has included assignments for CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, NPR, Christian Science Monitor Radio, Newsweek, and L.A. Times Magazine. She is currently a news consultant for Shanghai International Television. She lives in San Francisco, CA.

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Winner of the American Academy of Diplomacy's 2010 Douglas Dillon Award For a Book of...Read More

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3-5 December, Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China Read More

Customer Reviews

3 Reviews
Average Customer Reviews
5.00 Stars
Thursday, June 30, 2011
By: Dr Paul Vout

This book is both masterfully written and immaculately researched. Easy to read, it is nonetheless a compelling biography and work of geopolitical history. Anyone with an interest in China, its relationship with the United States, the Second World War, the Cold War or history generally will find this book both fascinating and enjoyable. I came away with a much deeper insight into America's involvement in China during World War II, its dealings with Mao and the opportunities lost when the US myopically wed itself to Chiang Kai-shek's regime. Lynne Joiner's sympathetic, but by no means uncritical, narrative of John Service's life, career, tribulations and character is a major work of non-fiction. Dr. Paul Vout, former Chief Representative in China of Blake Dawson International Lawyers

History isn't supposed to be this easy.
Friday, July 1, 2011
By: Frank Sheeman

I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend Honorable Survivor. The last time I lost this much sleep over a book it was Red October. Lynne Joiner wrote a great novel. Except it's history. When I took history in high school it was boredom incarnate. I guess Lynne didn't take that class. I have spent time in China and was immediately able to connect with the story she tells. I knew pieces of it but have never had the opportunity to see it all come together - and she does a great job of bringing all the pieces together. The only problem with making a movie out of John Service's life would be trying to fit this story into so short a time. Last thought: there are few novelists who could create so complex a plot. This book should solve about a third of your Christmas gift list. Disclosure: I met Lynne Joiner in Shanghai when I was running a business there in the 90's. I think I am on her friends list. I know she spent much of the past decade on this book. It was worth the wait.

Honorable Survivor
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
By: Carol Wilder

Honorable Survivor is one of the best books I have ever read. In following the dramatic story of Jack Service, indeed one of the most honorable and insightful diplomats of his time, one learns much about the sweep of tremendous change in China during the 20th century and how myopic concern with anti-communism kept American leaders from acting in the best interests of the U.S., both in China and at home. Packed with fascinating details and people, the book reads like the best of historical novels. I found it hard to put down.



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