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1 Burnside Asia- China Revolutionary 1911 to 1949

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The Long March: The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth

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The Long March: The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Long March is Communist Chinas founding myth, the heroic tale that every Chinese child learns in school. Seventy years after the historical march took place, Sun Shuyun set out to retrace the Marchers steps and unexpectedly discovered the true history behind the legend. The Long March is the stunning narrative of her extraordinary expedition.

The facts are these: in 1934, in the midst of a brutal civil war, the Communist party and its 200,000 soldiers were forced from their bases by Chiang Kaishek and his Nationalist troops. After that, truth and legend begin to blur: led by Mao Zedong, the Communists set off on a strategic retreat to the distant barren north of China, thousands of miles away. Only one in five Marchers reached their destination, where, the legend goes, they gathered strength and returned to launch the new China in the heat of revolution.

As Sun Shuyun journeys to remote villages along the Marchers route, she interviews the aged survivors and visits little-known local archives. She uncovers shocking stories of starvation, disease, and desertion, of ruthless purges ordered by party leaders, of the mistreatment of women, and of thousands of futile deaths. Many who survived the March report that their suffering continued long after the “triumph” of the revolution, recounting tales of persecution and ostracism that culminated in the horrific years of the Cultural Revolution.

What emerges from Suns research, her interviews, and her own memories of growing up in China is a moving portrait of China past and present. Sun finds that the forces at work during the days of the revolutionthe barren, unforgiving landscape; the unifying power of outside threats from foreign countries; Maos brilliant political instincts and his use of terror, propaganda, and ruthless purges to consolidate power and control the populationare the very forces that made China what it is today.

The Long March is a gripping retelling of an amazing historical adventure, an eye-opening account of how Mao manipulated the event for his own purposes, and a beautiful document of a country balanced between legend and the truth.

Review:

"'The Long March — the 8,000-mile trek by 200,000 Communist soldiers in 1934 while fleeing the Nationalists — is still legendary in Chinese Communist Party lore, but there are a lot of myths surrounding it, as the Chinese-born author discovers when she retraces the march's steps. Meeting wizened march veterans, the author, raised on the heroism of the march, is shocked to discover the reality: stories of starvation and desertion, violence against women and unnecessary deaths. For years afterward, some of the veterans didn't receive full pensions. A filmmaker and television producer who divides her time between London and Beijing, she also finds that Mao made strategic mistakes attributed to others, and used the march ruthlessly to defeat his rivals and cement his hold on Communist power. Her interviews with veterans are among the book's highlights, but just as fascinating as the interviews and archival research is her travel through China. She colorfully describes the countryside, which in her eyes maintains its ancient beauty even amid creeping 21st-century modernity. Some readers may need to do a little background reading on 20th-century Chinese history, but the rewards make it worthwhile. Map. (June 12)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

The Long March is Communist Chinas founding myth, the heroic tale that every Chinese child learns in school. Seventy years after the historical march took place, Shuyun set out to retrace the Marchers steps and unexpectedly discovered the true history behind the legend.

Synopsis:

In 1934, the fledgling Chinese Communist Party and its 200,000 soldiers were forced off their bases by Chiang Kai-Shek and his Nationalist troops.They walked more than 8,000 miles over mountains, grasslands, and swamps, ending up in the remote, barren north of China. Only one-fifth survived. They went on to launch the revolution that transformed China, and the Long March was forever enshrined as the defining moment of modern Chinese history. It also served as potent propaganda for Mao and for the Communist revolution.

Seventy years later, Sun Shuyun set out to retrace the Marchers’ steps and to seek out and interview the aged survivors. THE LONG MARCH is the stunning narrative of her extraordinary expedition. The rugged landscape had changed little. Shuyun’s greatest difficulty was wrestling with the heroic images of the march she, and every Chinese citizen, had learned as a child. On each step of the journey, she uncovered shocking stories of starvation, disease, and desertion, of ruthless purges ordered by party leaders, of the mistreatment of women, and of thousands of futile deaths. Many who survived the march reported that their suffering continued long after the “triumph” of the revolution, recounting tales of persecution and ostracism that culminated in the horrific years of the Cultural Revolution.

THE LONG MARCH is at once a gripping retelling of an amazing historical adventure, an eye-opening account of how Mao manipulated it for his own purposes, and a moving portrait of China past and present.

About the Author

Sun Shuyun was born in China in the 1960s. She graduated from Beijing University and won a scholarship to Oxford. A filmmaker and television producer, she has made documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, PBS, and the Discovery Channel. For the past decade, she has divided her time between London and Beijing.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385520249
Subtitle:
The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth
Author:
Sun, Shuyun
Author:
Shuyun, Sun
Publisher:
Doubleday
Subject:
History
Subject:
China
Subject:
Asia - China
Publication Date:
20070612
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
21 BandW PHOTOS AS 1-8 PG INSERT
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.26x6.46x.99 in. 1.10 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » China » Revolutionary 1911 to 1949
History and Social Science » World History » China

The Long March: The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth Used Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385520249 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'The Long March — the 8,000-mile trek by 200,000 Communist soldiers in 1934 while fleeing the Nationalists — is still legendary in Chinese Communist Party lore, but there are a lot of myths surrounding it, as the Chinese-born author discovers when she retraces the march's steps. Meeting wizened march veterans, the author, raised on the heroism of the march, is shocked to discover the reality: stories of starvation and desertion, violence against women and unnecessary deaths. For years afterward, some of the veterans didn't receive full pensions. A filmmaker and television producer who divides her time between London and Beijing, she also finds that Mao made strategic mistakes attributed to others, and used the march ruthlessly to defeat his rivals and cement his hold on Communist power. Her interviews with veterans are among the book's highlights, but just as fascinating as the interviews and archival research is her travel through China. She colorfully describes the countryside, which in her eyes maintains its ancient beauty even amid creeping 21st-century modernity. Some readers may need to do a little background reading on 20th-century Chinese history, but the rewards make it worthwhile. Map. (June 12)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The Long March is Communist Chinas founding myth, the heroic tale that every Chinese child learns in school. Seventy years after the historical march took place, Shuyun set out to retrace the Marchers steps and unexpectedly discovered the true history behind the legend.
"Synopsis" by , In 1934, the fledgling Chinese Communist Party and its 200,000 soldiers were forced off their bases by Chiang Kai-Shek and his Nationalist troops.They walked more than 8,000 miles over mountains, grasslands, and swamps, ending up in the remote, barren north of China. Only one-fifth survived. They went on to launch the revolution that transformed China, and the Long March was forever enshrined as the defining moment of modern Chinese history. It also served as potent propaganda for Mao and for the Communist revolution.

Seventy years later, Sun Shuyun set out to retrace the Marchers’ steps and to seek out and interview the aged survivors. THE LONG MARCH is the stunning narrative of her extraordinary expedition. The rugged landscape had changed little. Shuyun’s greatest difficulty was wrestling with the heroic images of the march she, and every Chinese citizen, had learned as a child. On each step of the journey, she uncovered shocking stories of starvation, disease, and desertion, of ruthless purges ordered by party leaders, of the mistreatment of women, and of thousands of futile deaths. Many who survived the march reported that their suffering continued long after the “triumph” of the revolution, recounting tales of persecution and ostracism that culminated in the horrific years of the Cultural Revolution.

THE LONG MARCH is at once a gripping retelling of an amazing historical adventure, an eye-opening account of how Mao manipulated it for his own purposes, and a moving portrait of China past and present.

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