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Download The Long March: The True History of Communist China’s Founding Myth Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Long March: The True History of Communist China’s Founding Myth, by Sun Shuyun Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (137 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sun Shuyun Narrator: Laural Merlington Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 1934 the fledgling Chinese Communist Party and its 200,000 soldiers were forced off their bases by Chiang Kai-Shek and his Nationalist troops.They walked more than 8,000 miles over mountains, grasslands, and swamps, ending up in the remote, barren north of China. Only one-fifth survived. They went on to launch the revolution that transformed China, and the Long March was forever enshrined as the defining moment of modern Chinese history. It also served as potent propaganda for Mao and for the Communist revolution.

Seventy years later, Sun Shuyun set out to retrace the marchers’ steps and to seek out and interview the aged survivors. The Long March is the stunning narrative of her extraordinary expedition. The rugged landscape had changed little. Shuyun’s greatest difficulty was wrestling with the heroic images of the march she, and every Chinese citizen, had learned as a child. On each step of the journey, she uncovered shocking stories of starvation, disease, and desertion, of ruthless purges ordered by party leaders, of the mistreatment of women, and of thousands of futile deaths. Many who survived the march reported that their suffering continued long after the “triumph” of the revolution, recounting tales of persecution and ostracism that culminated in the horrific years of the Cultural Revolution.

The Long March is at once a gripping retelling of an amazing historical adventure, an eye-opening account of how Mao manipulated it for his own purposes, and a moving portrait of China past and present.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Shuyun, a Chinese-born BBC documentary producer, retraces the route and interviews the few remaining survivors, in an account that shows the human cost of Mao’s revisionism; along the way are huge memorials to spurious victories and countless unmarked graves of those who died in defeats that Mao later denied.”

    New Yorker

  • “A mixture of engaging lively travel writing and impressive historical reconstruction…Offers a rewarding journey into the experience of people, within living memory, who needed endurance beyond the comprehension of most of us.”

    Financial Times (London)

  • “A beautifully told story of one of the great legends of modern China…Utterly compelling reading.”

    Guardian (London)

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ernie Webb | 1/6/2014

    " Thios book is from the people who endured and suffered-- a great human interest piece "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Celeste | 9/9/2013

    " Fascinating anecdotal angle on the rise of Communism in China. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jan | 3/11/2013

    " A moving account of the unbelievable suffering and persistence of the Marchers combined with a critical appraisal of the romantic myths surrounding the founding myth of present day China. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Omar Ali | 9/10/2011

    " A must read...especially if, like me, you first read about the long march in Edgar Snow's "Red Star over China". "

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About the Author

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