The Long March

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HarperCollins Publishers, Apr 3, 2009 - History - 400 pages
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Every nation has its founding myth, and for modern China it is the Long March.

In 1934, the fledgling Communist Party and its 200,000 strong armies were forced out of their bases by Chiang Kaishek and his National troops.
Walking more than 10,000 miles over mountains, grassland and swamps, they suffered appalling casualties and ended up in the remote barren North. Just one-fifth survived; they went on to launch the new China in the heat of revolution. A legend was born. Justified by a remarkable feat, the Long March was also a triumph of propaganda, for Mao and for the revolution.

Seventy years later Sun Shuyun set out to retrace the Marchers’ steps. The rugged landscape has changed little. Her greatest difficult was in wrestling with the scenes lodged in her mind since childhood, part of the upbringing of every Chinese. On each stage of her journey, she found hidden stories: the ruthless purges, the terrible toll of hunger and disease, the fate of women on the March, the huge number of desertions, the futile deaths.

The real story of the March, the most vivid pictures, come from the veterans whom Sun Shuyun has found. She follows their trail through all those harsh miles, discovers their faith and disillusion, their pain and their hopes, and also recounts how many suffered even after the March’s end in 1936.

‘The Long March’ was an epic journey of endurance, even more severe than history books say, and courage against impossible odds. It is a brave, exciting and tragic story. Sun Shuyun tells it for the first time, as it really happened.

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THE LONG MARCH: The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth

User Review  - Kirkus

Documentary filmmaker Shuyun interviews aged veterans about their struggles against the Nationalists, the weather, the terrain and each other as she retraces the two-year, 8,000-mile trek that ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JanetinLondon - LibraryThing

The Long March is by Sun Shuyun, a Chinese woman who grew up in China, won a scholarship to Oxford, and since then has lived between her two worlds. She decided to trace the route of the Long March ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Sun Shuyun was born in China in the 1960s. She graduated from Beijing University and won a scholarship to Oxford. She is a film and television producer and has made documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4 and international broadcasters. For the past decade she has divided her time between Beijing and London.

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