President, Soldier, Spy
by Jonathan Clements
‘[Jonathan Clements] has combined the knowledge of a historian with the accessibility of a novelist. I hadn’t heard much about Finland’s Gustaf Mannerheim before, but I am certainly intrigued to read more about his fascinating life.’ —The Guardian
‘He describes [Mannerheim’s] journey as if he had been there.’ — The Times Literary Supplement
Gustaf Mannerheim was one of the greatest figures of the twentieth century. As a young Finnish officer in Russian service he witnessed the coronation of the last Tsar and was both reprimanded for his foolishness and decorated for his bravery in the Russo-Japanese war. He spent two years undercover in Asia as an agent in the ‘Great Game’, posing as a Swedish anthropologist. Crossing China on horseback, he stopped en route to teach the 13th Dalai Lama how to shoot a pistol and spied on the Japanese navy. Having escaped the Bolsheviks by the skin of his teeth in 1917, he led the anti-Russian forces in the local revolt and civil war and later, during Finland’s darkest hour, he led the defense of his country against the impossible odds of the Winter War. In this, the first major English language biography of Mannerheim for a decade, Jonathan Clements brings new material to light on Mannerheim’s time in Manchuria, China and Japan. The result is a fascinating appraisal of an adventurer and explorer who would go on to forge a new nation.
JONATHAN CLEMENTS is an author and TV presenter specialising in the history and cultures of the Far East. He speaks both Chinese and Japanese, and has been a consultant and talking head on numerous TV programmes, including New Secrets of the Terracotta Warriors (Channel 4), Koxinga: Sailing into History (National Geographic), China’s Jade Empire (Channel 4), and TheChinese Chariot Revealed (PBS). Since 2016, he has fronted the award-winning series Route Awakening (National Geographic Asia). His most recent documentary as presenter is Shandong: Land of Confucius, also for National Geographic. Visit Jonathan’s blog, here.
Also by this author, An Armchair Traveller’s History of Beijing, A Short History of Tokyo, An Armchair Traveller’s History of Finland, A History of the Silk Road, An Armchair Traveller’s History of the Silk Road, An Armchair Traveller’s History of Tokyo, Admiral Togo, and Mao Zedong.
October 2009 | £14.99 | 336 pages | Paperback | 9781907822575
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