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In this podcast, Matthew Rothwell, author of Transpacific Revolutionaries: The Chinese Revolution in Latin America, explores the global history of ideas related to rebellion and revolution. The main focus of this podcast for the near future will be on the history of the Chinese Revolution, going all the way back to its roots in the initial Chinese reactions to British imperialism during the Opium War of 1839-1842, and then following the development of the revolution and many of the ideas tha ...
 
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A close reading of the portion of the resolution of the Border Area Party Congress of October 4 to 6, 1928, which later became a key early text in the Maoist canon. Further reading: Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base Area Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 3: From the Jinggangshan to the Establishment…
 
The Communists fight to regain lost territory, and ethnic tensions explode among the peasants in the base area. Further reading: Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base Area Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 3: From the Jinggangshan to the Establishment of the Jiangxi Soviets, July 1927-December 1930 Pang…
 
The 29th Regiment goes against Mao’s orders and decides to stay in Hunan, with disastrous results for the Communists. Further reading: Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base Area Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Jurgen Domes, Peng Te-huai: The Man and the Image Stuart Schram, ed.…
 
Mao explains his refusal to comply with orders from the Hunan Provincial Committee. Further reading: Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base Area Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 3: From the Jinggangshan to the Establishment of the Jiangxi Soviets, July 1927-December 1930 Pang Xianzhi and Jin Chongji, Ma…
 
A talk that I recently delivered at the University of Hamburg, focused on the development of a new socialist political economy late in the Cultural Revolution and how this influenced the Communist Party of Peru. Further reading: Alessandro Russo, Cultural Revolution and Revolutionary Culture Fabio Lanza, The End of Concern: Maoist China, Activism, …
 
In light of the Ukraine crisis, a historical look at communist thinking on the connection between a third world war and revolution. Further reading: Sergei N. Goncharov, John W. Lewis, and Xue Litai, Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War David Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb Edward Wilson, “Thank you Vasili Arkhipov, the man who stopped…
 
The Hunan Provincial Committee decides that Mao must obey its authority. Further reading: Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base Area Elizabeth Perry, Anyuan: Mining China’s Revolutionary Tradition Some names from this episode: Wang Meisheng, Courier between Anyuan and the Jinggangshan Du Xiujing, Inspector sent to …
 
In the wake of their military victories in late Spring 1928, the Communists carried out a major land redistribution and a mass recruitment drive. There were some unforeseen complications. Further reading: Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base Area Pang Xianzhi and Jin Chongji, Mao Zedong: A Biography, vol. 1: 1893-…
 
Mao Zedong and Zhu De learn warfare through warfare as they face continuing onslaughts from Guomindang forces. Further reading/watching: Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base Area Pang Xianzhi and Jin Chongji, Mao Zedong: A Biography, vol. 1: 1893-1949 China: A Century of Revolution documentary Communist Party of N…
 
The unification of Mao Zedong’s and Zhu De’s forces. Some discussion of the problems involved in unifying the Communist armed forces. Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base Area Pang Xianzhi and Jin Chongji, Mao Zedong: A Biograph…
 
Discussing pay for professional revolutionaries, the role of servants in the lives of Communist leaders, and the Comintern in Shanghai. Further reading: Patricia Stranahan, Underground: The Shanghai Communist Party and the Politics of Survival, 1927-1937 Elizabeth Perry, Shanghai on Strike: The Politics of Chinese Labor Wang Fan-hsi [Wang Fanxi], M…
 
How did the Communist Party try to protect itself in Shanghai? We discuss the compartmentalized party organization and the creation of the Special Services Division. Further reading: Patricia Stranahan, Underground: The Shanghai Communist Party and the Politics of Survival, 1927-1937 Timothy Cheek, “Making Maoism: Ideology and Organization in the Y…
 
The Communist Party Center remained underground in the dangerous city of Shanghai during the late 1920s and early 1930s. Further reading/watching: Patricia Stranahan, Underground: The Shanghai Communist Party and the Politics of Survival, 1927-1937 China: A Century of Revolution documentary Josephine Fowler, Japanese and Chinese Immigrant Activists…
 
The Party Center puts the South Hunan Special Committee in charge of the Jinggangshan, and the contrast between the strategies advocated by Mao and the Party Center are put on vivid display. Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Marcia Ristaino, China’s Art of Revolution: The Mobilization of Disconte…
 
We look at the successful conquest of three cities (and one heart) by Zhu De during the course of the uprising he led in south Hunan at the beginning of 1928. The link for my new course on academia.edu mentioned at the end of the episode: www.academia.edu/learn/MatthewRothwell Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Ch…
 
Following Zhu De in Shanghai and Germany, finishing up our four-part detour through the early life of Zhu De. Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Some names from this episode: Chen Duxiu, first general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Zhou Enlai, organized branches of the Chinese Communist …
 
As the Army for the Defense of the Republic faces defections from the revolutionary nationalist cause as well as powerful warlord enemies, Zhu De rethinks the military vocation. Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Some names from this episode: Cai E, Republican general and governor of Yunnan after …
 
Following Zhu De from his time as a teacher of physical training at a modern school, through his time at the Yunnan Military Academy, the Revolution of 1911 and the rebellion against Yuan Shikai. Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Some names from this episode: Cai E, Republican general and governo…
 
Taking a look back at the early life of Zhu De, the man who would later be Mao’s main partner in revolution. Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Some names from this episode: Zhang Tailei, leader of the Guangzhou Uprising of December 1927 Wang Zuo, Bandit leader who joined with Mao Zedong Shi Dakai…
 
The story behind how guidance on communist armed struggle got into a major American newspaper in 1852. Listener requested background on the text used by Lenin and which was so influential in the Guangzhou Commune. Further reading: Frederick Engels, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Germany Lenin, “Advice of an Onlooker” Some names from this epis…
 
The last major armed uprising of 1927, in which the Communists temporarily took over Guangzhou. Further reading: Arif Dirlik, “Narrativizing Revolution: The Guangzhou Uprising (11-13 December 1927) in Workers’ Perspective” Marcia Ristaino, China’s Art of Revolution: The Mobilization of Discontent, 1927 and 1928 Hsiao Tso-Liang, “Chinese Communism a…
 
Some background on the situation in Guangzhou leading up to the uprising. Further reading: Arif Dirlik, “Narrativizing Revolution: The Guangzhou Uprising (11-13 December 1927) in Workers’ Perspective” Marcia Ristaino, China’s Art of Revolution: The Mobilization of Discontent, 1927 and 1928 Hsiao Tso-Liang, “Chinese Communism and the Canton Soviet o…
 
Using the early November 1927 peasant revolt in Jiangsu province to illustrate features common to the many small Communist-led uprisings at the end of the 1920s. Further reading: Marcia Ristaino, China’s Art of Revolution: The Mobilization of Discontent, 1927 and 1928 Chang Liu, “Making Revolution in Jiangnan: Communists and the Yangzi Delta Countr…
 
The Politburo meets to decide whether the leadership’s overall policy was wrong, or whether all the cadres carrying out the policy are just bad. Further reading: Marcia Ristaino, China’s Art of Revolution: The Mobilization of Discontent, 1927 and 1928 Tony Saich, The Rise to Power of the Chinese Communist Party Chang Kuo-t’ao [Zhang Guotao], The Ri…
 
We follow the Southern Expeditionary force from Ruijin in Jiangxi province to Shantou in Guangdong. Further reading: Marcia Ristaino, China’s Art of Revolution: The Mobilization of Discontent, 1927 and 1928 Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Chang Kuo-t’ao [Zhang Guotao], The Rise of the Chinese Communist Party (2…
 
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