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Publisher's Summary

They were the most famous sisters in China. As the country battled through 100 years of wars, revolutions, and seismic transformations, the three Soong sisters from Shanghai were at the center of power, and each of them left an indelible mark on history.

Red Sister, Ching-ling, married the "Father of China", Sun Yat-sen, and rose to be Mao's vice-chair.

Little Sister, May-ling, became Madame Chiang Kai-shek, first lady of pre-Communist Nationalist China and a major political figure in her own right. 

Big Sister, Ei-ling, became Chiang's unofficial main adviser - and made herself one of China's richest women.

All three sisters enjoyed tremendous privilege and glory, but also endured constant mortal danger. They showed great courage and experienced passionate love, as well as despair and heartbreak. They remained close emotionally, even when they embraced opposing political camps and Ching-ling dedicated herself to destroying her two sisters' worlds.

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister is a gripping story of love, war, intrigue, bravery, glamour, and betrayal, which takes us on a sweeping journey from Canton to Hawaii to New York, from exiles' quarters in Japan and Berlin to secret meeting rooms in Moscow, and from the compounds of the Communist elite in Beijing to the corridors of power in democratic Taiwan. In a group biography that is by turns intimate and epic, Jung Chang reveals the lives of three extraordinary women who helped shape 20th-century China.

©2019 Jung Chang (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Chang seamlessly chronicles the lives and marriages of the Soong sisters in this captivating triple biography.... This juicy tale will satisfy readers interested in politics, world affairs, and family dynamics." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating reading

Really enjoyed learning more about the Soong sisters. Appreciated the background on the key men in their lives too.

1 person found this helpful

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Good history

Overview of China & Taiwan 1850-2000 as told through biographies of the Soong sisters. One of whom married Sun Yai Sin and one who married Chiang Kai-shel.

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • CB
  • 12-08-19

kinda disappointing

anyone writing on an historical subject owes it to the reader to cut through the confusion, chaos, and obfuscation that encrusts figures from the past. Sometimes to do so involves taking a point of view. This book does not seem to be able to clear the muddle....