Unbound: A True Story of War, Love, and Survival
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In October 1934, 30 brave Chinese women left their respective homes to join the Chinese Communist Army and march against the hundreds of thousands of enemy soldiers who had surrounded them. Together with 86,000 Red Army soldiers-including future Chinese leaders Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Zhou Enlai-these women embarked on an epic escape, covering more than 4,000 brutal miles in the course of one year. The journey would be one of the most horrific in history, but remarkably almost every woman would live to tell the tale. And then they were forgotten.
In UNBOUND Dean King reveals the astonishing true story of this tiny group of revolutionaries. A landmark piece of historical detective work and dramatic storytelling, King's book is an unforgettable tale of love, friendship, and survival against all odds.
Before the Yuan dynasty (1279–1368), toilet paper was not commonly used. The upper classes preferred cloth. During the Han dynasty (206 BC–AD 220), the emperor used delicate damask dyed in yellow, while court officials used hemp cloth. Peasants wiped themselves with pieces of wood or bamboo, leaves, or even rocks. Early toilet paper was made of bamboo pulp, tree bark, or straw and was very coarse. 15. Li Guiying said that when they crossed rivers, menstrual blood sometimes flowed down their
says the meeting occurred on the third day after the Red Army’s arrival, which would be January 12. He Diyu (pp. 148–52) says it took place on the sixth day. Kang Keqing (pp. 121–42) agrees with Cai, whose timing I have used. Harrison Salisbury does not mention the event, only noting the formation of the Zunyi revolutionary committee before moving on to a detailed account of the Zunyi Conference (pp. 119–26). 5. Fritz, 44. 6. Converting this goodwill into results was not easy. While the local
Diyu, 148–50; Fritz, 44; Young, 198; Lee and Wiles, 52–53. 9. Cai Xiaoqian, 244; Young, 198; Lee and Wiles, 52–57, 90; Guo Chen, chap. 4; Smedley, China Fights Back, 91–92; Salisbury, 370 n. 14. A story that made the rounds in this area of heavy opium use was that one confiscated horse would not move until someone held opium under its nostrils for it to sniff. Although opium use was strictly forbidden among the soldiers, Red Army recruiters were not above luring new recruits with confiscated
harvest, and in the elbows of the mountains that pinched the small valley. Commandeering strategically located homes, they built defenses in rooms throughout the village, including one right in Ma’s parents’ kitchen. As the Nationalists entered the town that night, the Communists ambushed them. While the fight raged, Ma, her brother, and a cousin hid under a slatted bed at her uncle’s place, listening to gunshots and explosions. At dawn, villagers emerged to discover an eerie silence. He Long’s
of northeastern Sichuan, where they had discovered a small but potent local band of Communists. The group, known as the East Sichuan Guerrilla Force, under Wang Weizhou, controlled much of the countryside of eastern Sichuan. In October, Wang had coordinated the combined Red forces in a pincer attack that routed ten warlord regiments at Xuanhan. 2 The day the Red Army captured the town, Wang Weizhou’s ten-year-old niece, Wang Xinlan, squeezed in among the crowd of people watching and cheering the