Portraits of Chinese Women in Revolution

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Feminist Press, 1976 - Biography & Autobiography - 203 pages
Agnes Smedley worked in and wrote about China from 1928 to 1941. Her biographers have collected 18 of her stories and reportage on Chinese women, all out of print and most unavailable even in public libraries. The stories, based on interviews with revolutionary women, include descriptions of the massacre of feminists in the Canton commune, of the silkworkers of Canton whose solidarity earns them the "charge" of lesbianism, and of Mother Tsai, a 60-year-old peasant who leads village women in smashing an opium den. This book is a moving document of a people in the throes of revolution, with rare photographs taken by Smedley of the people she spoke with.

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User Review  - autumnesf - LibraryThing

This is a book full of the stories of individual women (and sometimes men) during the cultural revolution. I found it educational in understanding the mind set of different classes during this time ... Read full review

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About the author (1976)

Agnes Smedley (1892 - 1950) was an American journalist and writer, well known for her semi-autobiographical novel Daughter of Earth as well as for her sympathetic chronicling of the Communist forces in the Chinese Civil War. During World War I, she worked in the United States for the independence of India from the United Kingdom, receiving financial support from the government of Germany. Subsequently, she went to China, where she is suspected of acting as a spy for the Comintern. As the lover of Soviet super spy Richard Sorge in Shanghai in the early 1930s, she helped get him established for his final and greatest work as spymaster in Tokyo. She also worked on behalf of various causes including women's rights, birth control, and children's welfare. Smedley wrote six books, including a novel, reportage, and a biography of the Chinese general Zhu De, reported for newspapers such as New York Call, Frankfurter Zeitung, and Manchester Guardian, and wrote for periodicals such as the Modern Review, New Masses, Asia, New Republic, and The Nation.

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