An impressive and historic memoir of a little know piece of history. The first chapter just jumps right into the dangers and emotions that author Patricia Linder found herself in during a little remembered part of our foreign policy. Her experiences living in Taiwan during a time when the United States was pulling its protection and official recognition to build relations with communist China, is one full of emotion. Her first person account of that period of history is very well told in her newest book The Lady And The Tiger.
Linder does a masterpiece of reporting from her own heart and soul. She sounds like someone who not only was there physically, but was fully aware of all the political and social issues that surrounded what was happening. She has an intelligent grasp of what happened and why. She writes with great passion and skill to weave the facts and emotions together to give the story lots of energy and movement. This book, at times, reads almost like an action novel. You will get hooked from page one and will have a hard time putting down the book.
She faces riots, mobs and angry people all with great courage. She has to deal with tapped phones, and armed guards that she cannot fully trust and even rooms in her own residence that are bugged with listening devices. The events and culture that she found in Taiwan are not what this wife of a Rear Admiral was expecting. This was a tour of duty that was going to really test her soul!
Reviewed by: Bill McDonald (2006)
Patricia Linder's newest book The Lady and the Tiger gives the reader and in-depth account of life in a foreign country during a politically uncertain time. The setting is Taiwan, Republic of China during the last days of the Mutual Defense Treaty in 1979. To the west is communist China, determined to reclaim this island it calls "a rogue province" and thereby, impose communist rule on what has been a democracy for thirty years. Rear Admiral James Linder, representing the U.S. government as the Commander of Taiwan Defense Forces, has been given the job of protecting the Republic of China from any such incursion. The Linders, acting upon official Department of Defense orders, take up residence in Taipei and the countdown begins. As the author deals with the challenges of the ways of the Far East, the time grows shorter for the safety of the Chinese and Taiwanese they have come to know and care about. On December fifteenth 1978, the Carter Administration abrogates the Treaty that guarantees Taiwan's safety, thus leaving the Island vulnerable to a communist attack. Riots ensue and lives are threatened.This is the story of a virtually unknown chapter of American history.