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Chat and Chowder – The China Mission: George Marshall's Unfinished War

  • McDermott, Will & Emery 28 State Street Boston, MA, 02109 United States (map)
Kurtz-Phelan, Daniel (c) Frances F. Denny.jpg


Daniel Kurtz-Phelan




and a conversation with Ambassador Nicholas Burns


Tickets are available here.

"America has always sought to convert rather than understand China, whether to Christianity or capitalism. In this brilliant historical study, Daniel Kurtz-Phelan focuses on the pivotal moment of misunderstanding between these two very different countries." Fareed Zakaria, CNN host and author of The Post-American World

"The China Mission has much to teach us about both the past and future of American leadership - and about what individual leadership means in the face of hard choices. I have rarely read such a vivid account of how diplomacy really works." Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State

The China Mission explores General George Marshall's thirteen months in China at the end of World War II. Although Marshall is best remembered as the secretary of state who launched the Marshall Plan and set the standard for American leadership, author Daniel Kurtz-Phelan traces the largely forgotten interlude in Marshall’s career involving his assignment in China. Marshall was given the mission of brokering a peace, building a Chinese democracy, and preventing a Communist takeover–but did he succeed? Kurtz-Phelan explores this while offering a close-up and gripping view of the central figures of the time–including Marshall, Mao, Eisenhower, and Truman. Ambassador Nicholas Burns will join Kurtz-Phelan in discussion. Ambassador (Ret.) Burns is the former ambassador to NATO and the current Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations at Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Daniel Kurtz-Phelan is a graduate of Yale University and was a fellow with New America's International Security program. He was previously a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi and a Senior Adviser to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Kurtz-Phelan advised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a member of her policy planning staff from 2010 to 2012 and has also worked as her speechwriter. Previously a senior editor, Kurtz-Phelan is now currently serving as the executive editor at Foreign Affairs magazine.