Women of the Long March

Women of the Long March

Women of the Long March

Women of the Long March

Excerpt

Thirty women took part in the main Long March of the Chinese communists in 1934-35. Little is known in the West of these women, even though a handful of them rose to national prominence after 1949, when the communist People's Republic of China was established. The idealism of these women as well as their courage and endurance under cruel conditions inspired us to write this book. It is a natural corollary of our common interest in China and women's studies, and our years of research into Chinese women's lives over the centuries.

In the past fifty years women in mainland China have gained political and economic rights and social freedoms their grandmothers never dreamed of. We must make clear at the outset, however, that our motivation to write this book came not from a desire to defend the Communist Party's claims of gender equality, which many Westerners have viewed with considerable cynicism. Rather, we are motivated by an admiration for those thirty young women of the Long March--the youngest was nineteen when they set out, the oldest thirty-four--who retained a lifelong commitment to their ideals despite the disappointments, and sometimes betrayals, of reality. We have tried to recapture something of the spirit of idealism which moved them, and millions like them, to leave home and family and risk their lives over many years for the Communist Revolution. To do this, where we could we used contemporary sources to tell their stories. While we know that many of the statements, conversations and descriptions we quote will sound naive to late twentieth-century . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.