Hailed as the “architect of victory” over the Axis Powers in the Second World War by Winston Churchill, and widely credited with devising the program to spur European recovery and limit Soviet expansion at the start of the Cold War, George Marshall’s impact on geopolitics was enormous, shaping U.S. foreign policy even today. Often missed, however, is another challenge he was asked to take on: to broker a peace deal between the Chinese Nationalists and Communists, build a democratic state in China, and prevent a communist victory.

Just one day after his retirement from the Army in 1945, President Truman called General Marshall to ask him to travel to China in what would be his first battle of the Cold War. In his new book, The China Mission: George Marshall’s Unfinished War, author Daniel Kurtz-Phelan describes in detail the complicated negotiations and colorful cast of characters Marshall encountered during his 13-month mission. Mr. Kurtz-Phelan discussed his book, and the impact Marshall’s experience in China would have on domestic U.S. politics and American foreign policy for decades to come, with the National Committee on June 21, 2018.