Chinese Women Soldiers on the Long March
Publication Year: 2001
Published by: University of Illinois Press
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It is a distinct pleasure to acknowledge people who have helped andsupported me over the many years this book has been in process. However,I also feel an anxiety arising from the fear that I might have missed someoneand the knowledge that I can never adequately thank all those who so gen-erously gave of their time and expertise, knowing that there would be no...
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I have used the modern standard Pinyin spelling for all Chinese words andnames, with the exception of the familiar Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek.The Chinese family name—Sun or Chiang, for example—is first and theWhen spelling was standardized, some letters were used that seem strangein English. Four consonant sounds that are different from normal English...
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...1930 First Front Army is founded in the Jiangxi Soviet Base Area1931 Fourth Front Army is founded in the Hubei-Henan-Anhui Soviet1932 Fourth Front Army leaves the Soviet base, moving west to Sichuan;1933 Political Bureau of the Chinese Communist party moves to the JiangxiSixth Army Group leaves Hunan-Jiangxi Base Area to join forces with...
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Forced by encircling Nationalist troops to abandon their Base Areas in east-ern and central China, the Chinese Red Army struck out across China in themid-1930s. They strove to move north to join their comrades but were con-stantly prevented from doing so by enemy forces. The Red Army retreated tothe southwestern border of China, finally turning north through the moun-...
1. Newborn on the March
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Jian Xianren and her younger sister, Jian Xianfo, joined the Red Army asa means of self-protection. Jian Xianren’s revolutionary commitment hadbeen forged during student days by the exciting ideas she and her brotherencountered in the newly established schools they attended during the 1920s,Jian Xianren was born in 1909 in Cili, Hunan province, two years before...
2. Revolutionary, Mother
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Chen Zongying and I stand side by side. The top of her head does not quitereach my shoulder, although she is stretching tall on her abnormally smallfeet. Even knowing the resilience of Chinese country people, I find it hard tobelieve that this fragile woman in her mid-eighties had spent her childbear-ing years as an underground Communist activist and a Red Army soldier...
3. Little Devil
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The picture Ma Yixiang paints of her childhood is extremely grim, with-out any folksongs, stories, or legends to lighten the image of ceaseless drudg-ery and anguish that poverty and hunger can bring. Her father was contin-ually disappearing to avoid his debts and family responsibility, her motherdisliked her and blamed her for the deaths of her siblings, and her foster fam-...
4. From Soldier to Doctor
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The Chinese Communist armies on the March were small mobile cities.One women’s regiment was actually a clothing factory; there was a printshop, and of course there were hospitals. Probably the most unusual ser-vice was a medical school that conducted classes and graduated studentsduring the March. He Manqiu was one of two women who graduated from...
5. Why We Joined
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The women soldiers on the Long March whom I interviewed told storiesof leaving children behind with peasant families, crossing glacier mountainsin the third trimester of pregnancy, leaving babies where they were born, orcarrying them along a day or two after birth. They described the work theydid as soldiers, carrying stretchers, doing propaganda work, recruiting labor-...
6. Women at Work
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The following stories about the work done by women during the LongMarch are drawn from translations of a series of interviews by the authorbetween 1986 and 1989. The twenty-three women who were interviewed rep-resent a fair selection of Long March veterans. When they began the LongMarch, their ages ranged from twelve to thirty-two; fourteen were seventeen...
7. First Front Women
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In this chapter, twelve women give voice to their experiences on the LongMarch in a chorus of voices that is greater than the sum of its parts. The samestory told from the different perspectives formed by their various backgrounds,experiences, and personalities emphasizes the collective nature of ChineseCommunist society in an immediate way. And because the First Front Army...
8. Left Behind
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Three of our First Front Army women did not complete the Long March.Li Guiying and Xie Xiaomei, whose husbands were wounded in fierce fight-ing after the Zunyi conference, were left behind with their husbands to workin the civilian sector. Li Guiying and her husband were sent into southernSichuan to join the guerrilla troops. Xie Xiaomei and Luo Ming were assigned...
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When Wang Quanyuan’s sister soldiers from the First Front Army reachednorthern Shaanxi province in autumn 1935, their welcome sense of relief atbeing with their comrades in a place that seemed safe was tempered by thehard conditions facing them. They immediately joined in the business ofenlarging the Shaan-Gan-Ning Soviet Base Area, developing it into a military...
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Page Count: 304
Publication Year: 2001