Red Star over China: The Classic Account of the Birth of Chinese Communism

Red Star over China: The Classic Account of the Birth of Chinese Communism

Language: English

Pages: 544

ISBN: 0802150934

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The first Westerner to meet Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese Communist leaders in 1936, Edgar Snow came away with the first authorized account of Mao’s life, as well as a history of the famous Long March and the men and women who were responsible for the Chinese revolution. Out of that experience came Red Star Over China, a classic work that remains one of the most important books ever written about the birth of the Communist movement in China. This edition includes extensive notes on military and political developments in China, further interviews with Mao Tse-tung, a chronology covering 125 years of Chinese revolution, and nearly a hundred detailed biographies of the men and women who were instrumental in making China what it is today.

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green countryside quilted with deep rice lands and thickets of tall bamboo. More than a million people lived in this one county. Though the soil of Hsiang T’an was rich, the majority of the peasants were miserably poor, illiterate, and “little better than serfs,” according to P’eng. Landlords were all-powerful there, owned the finest lands, and charged exorbitant rents and taxes, for they were in many cases also the officials—the gentry. Several great landlords in Hsiang T’an had incomes of from

Yuan-p’ei’s translation of that book still exists, with 12,000 words of marginal notes in Mao’s handwriting which reveal his admiration of Paulsen’s emphasis on discipline, self-control, and will power (Ch’en, ibid., p. 44). 3. Hsiao Yu (Siao Yu) wrote Mao Tse-tung and I Were Beggars. See Bibliography. 4. Yi gave Mao, his former student, a job as principal of his “model” primary school, a satellite of the Hunan Normal School. Mao taught Chinese literature there until 1922. In 1965 Mao told me

helped Mao organize a Socialist Youth Corps in Hunan, and was recruited for study at the Comintern’s Sun Yat-sen University in Moscow, where he joined the branch CCP. When he returned in 1922 he became secretary of the All-China Labor Syndicate. He organized workers in the Yangtze Valley, and at Anyuan, on the Kiangsi-Hunan border, led a successful strike of the miners’ union. In 1927 some of these miners joined Mao Tse-tung’s first Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army. (But in 1967 attacks on Liu by

time to politics. “Later on,” Chou told me, “when friends remarked that I had used Yen Hsiu’s money to become a Communist, Yen quoted a Chinese proverb, ‘Every intelligent man has his own purposes!’” In France, London, and Germany, Chou spent three years. On his return to China he stopped briefly for instructions in Moscow. Late in 1924 he arrived in Canton, where he became Chiang Kai-shek’s deputy director of the political department of Whampoa Academy. (While still in Paris Chou had been

and file. He could have achieved high office and riches by “betraying” to the Kuomintang, and this applied to most Red commanders. The tenacity with which these Communists for ten years clung to their principles could not be fully evaluated unless one knew the history of “silver bullets” in China, by means of which other rebels were bought off. I was able to check up on many of Mao’s assertions, and usually found them to be correct. He subjected me to mild doses of political propaganda, but it

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