In 1890, the author's maternal great-grandfather Chow Chih was the firstborn son of a wealthy family in Canton, China, who could have pursued virtually any career. But China was swirling in revolutions and counterrevolutions as warlords and foreign interlopers fought for control after 2,000 years of imperial rule. Dr. Sun Yat-sen said China had become "the poorest and weakest nation in the world. We occupy the lowest position in international affairs. Other men are the carving knife and serving dish; we are the fish and the meat." Chow chose to fight for his country and graduated as an officer from the first class of the prestigious Whampoa Military Academy in 1924. His military prowess caught the eye of a powerful warlord in north China who tried to woo him to lead an army. Chow chose instead to join Sun Yat-sen's new national army to fight the warlords and hopefully unify a splintered China. Chow served as a general for Sun Yat-sen and later became a four-star general for Chiang Kai-shek who described Chow as having "brilliance in all things military and deserves respect as the supreme commander of the military world."
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May 01, 2012
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