Airs Sunday, April 7 at 7:00 PM on WVIZ/PBS
In a remarkable life that touched three centuries, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek rose to become one of the most powerful women in the world. She positioned herself at the forefront of Chinese politics and held extraordinary influence in world affairs for a woman of her time. She was, for five decades, a source of invaluable support for her China’s ineffective Nationalist leader, her husband, General Chiang Kai-Shek. With charm, diplomacy and an American education on her side, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek secured huge international support for a war-torn poverty-stricken China. When Japan invaded and the Communists advanced, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek successfully appealed to America for millions of dollars of financial and military aid. Yet her ambition and hunger for power was nearly her downfall. An affair with a man who could have been the American President almost destroyed her marriage and her reputation. In the end though, she triumphed over every adversity, and continued to fight both for Chinese democracy and her country’s place on the world stage. In one of the most turbulent times in China’s history, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek had spoken for millions of her people at home and across the world. She was the greatest leader China never had.