Madame Chiang Kai-Shek (Soong Mei-Ling) is perhaps one of the most interesting individuals in recent history. Her father immigrated to the United States with nothing and returned to China as a successful businessman. His daughters married distinguished Chinese leaders (Sun Yat-Sen and Chiang Kai-Shek). Mei-Ling was well-educated and attended college in Georgia (and therefore spoke fluent English with a Southern accent). As the First Lady of the Republic of China, Mei-Ling took part in numerous diplomatic missions with a measure of skill and tact that her husband couldn't match. She was a key figure in 20th century Sino-American relations and is worth reading about!
With the powerful Madame Chiang Kai-shek at the center of one of the great dramas of the twentieth century, the story of the founding of modern China ranges from the revolution that swept away the monarchy to the eventual loss to the Communists and exile in Taiwan.