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People's History of Ideas Podcast

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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 that were products of the revolution through to their transnational diffusion in the late 20th century.

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 that were products of the revolution through to their transnational diffusion in the late 20th century.

Location:

United States

Description:

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 that were products of the revolution through to their transnational diffusion in the late 20th century.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Fifth Party Congress and the ‘Better Fewer but Better’ Approach to Summing up a Massacre

1/18/2021
The Fifth Party Congress of the Communist Party (April 29 to May 9, 1927) decides that the united front is better without Chiang Kai-shek. Further reading: Steve Smith, A Road Is Made: Communism in Shanghai, 1920-1927 Tony Saich, The Rise to Power of the Chinese Communist Party Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 2: National Revolution and Social Revolution, December 1920-June 1927 C. Martin Wilbur, The Nationalist Revolution in China, 1923-1928 Some names from this...

Duration:00:27:59

Rivers of Blood in the Streets of Shanghai: The Massacre of the Communists by the Guomindang Right

1/7/2021
Chiang Kai-shek’s April 12, 1927 coup against the Communists. Further reading: Steve Smith, A Road Is Made: Communism in Shanghai, 1920-1927 Elizabeth Perry, Shanghai on Strike: The Politics of Chinese Labor Maurice Meisner, Li Ta-chao and the Origins of Chinese Marxism Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 3: From the Jinggangshan to the Establishment of the Jiangxi Soviets, July 1927-December 1930 Some names from this episode: Wang Shouhua, President of the General Labor...

Duration:00:24:51

The Third Armed Uprising in Shanghai

12/17/2020
On March 21-22, 1927, Shanghai fell to a combination of general strike, armed uprising, and the advance of the National Revolutionary Army. Further reading: Steve Smith, A Road Is Made: Communism in Shanghai, 1920-1927 Some names from this episode: Chen Duxiu, General Secretary of the Communist Party Li Qiushi, Delegate to the Fifth Communist Party Congress known for being very handsome Mikhail Borodin, Comintern agent and head of Soviet mission to aid the Guomindang Henk Sneevliet,...

Duration:00:23:00

The Split in the Guomindang: The Left Government in Wuhan and the Military Headquarters in Nanchang Develop Irreconcilable Differences (January to March 1927)

12/3/2020
The question of what sort of revolution the Nationalist revolution will be creates a fundamental division within the Guomindang. Further reading: C. Martin Wilbur and Julie Lien-ying How, Missionaries of Revolution: Soviet Advisers and Nationalist China, 1920-1927 C. Martin Wilbur, The Nationalist Revolution in China, 1923-1928 Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 2: National Revolution and Social Revolution, December 1920-June 1927 Alexander Pantsov, The Bolsheviks and the...

Duration:00:23:39

Summation, Red Terror, and Frustration: The Aftermath of the Second Armed Uprising in Shanghai (February and March 1927)

11/12/2020
Summations of the Second Uprising on several different levels; the continuing inability of the Shanghai Regional Committee of the Communist Party to control the ‘dog-beating’ squads; and some thoughts on the problem of the inevitability of errors being made in revolutionary armed struggle and Mao’s thinking on that problem. Further reading: Steve Smith, A Road Is Made: Communism in Shanghai, 1920-1927 C. Martin Wilbur and Julie Lien-ying How, Missionaries of Revolution: Soviet Advisers...

Duration:00:25:17

The Second Armed Uprising in Shanghai (February 1927)

11/5/2020
Where we continue to follow the insurrectionary journey of the Shanghai Communists. Further reading: Steve Smith, A Road Is Made: Communism in Shanghai, 1920-1927 C. Martin Wilbur and Julie Lien-ying How, Missionaries of Revolution: Soviet Advisers and Nationalist China, 1920-1927 Some names from this episode: Chen Duxiu, General Secretary of the Communist Party Sun Chuanfang, Leader of warlord coalition in China’s southeast Zhang Zongchang, Shandong warlord Li Baozhang, the...

Duration:00:25:26

From Dog-Beating Squads to the First Armed Uprising: The Shanghai Communists’ Steep Learning Curve in Developing Armed Struggle (1922 to 1926)

10/29/2020
The bumpy road that the Communist Party took in Shanghai as it developed its capacity to deploy organized violence as a political tactic. Further reading: Steve Smith, A Road Is Made: Communism in Shanghai, 1920-1927 Some names from this episode: Wang Shouhua, Leading Communist labor organizer in Shanghai Yu Xiaqing, Leader of a nationalist faction of Shanghai’s merchant class Niu Yongjian, Veteran Nationalist operative who came to Shanghai in 1926 Sun Chuanfang, Leader of warlord...

Duration:00:23:49

When Peasant Revolution Meets the Theory of the Productive Forces: The Communist Debate on Unity with the Nationalist Left

10/22/2020
The tension between maintaining the united front and mobilizing the peasants for revolution finds expression in a crucial debate over strategy at the end of 1926. Further reading: C. Martin Wilbur and Julie Lien-ying How, Missionaries of Revolution: Soviet Advisers and Nationalist China, 1920-1927 Tony Saich, The Rise to Power of the Chinese Communist Party Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 2: National Revolution and Social Revolution, December 1920-June 1927 Some names from...

Duration:00:23:39

More Mass Movements, More Problems: The Aggressive Line of the Guangdong Comrades

10/15/2020
Debate breaks out within the Communist Party and the Comintern over how to assess the balance of forces and relate to the developing revolutionary situation engendered by the mass movements in Hunan and Hubei in late 1926. Further reading: C. Martin Wilbur and Julie Lien-ying How, Missionaries of Revolution: Soviet Advisers and Nationalist China, 1920-1927 Tony Saich, The Rise to Power of the Chinese Communist Party Arif Dirlik, “Mass Movements and the Left Kuomintang” Steve Smith, A...

Duration:00:25:21

Revolution in the Countryside: The Peasant Movement in Hunan in the Wake of the Northern Expedition

10/8/2020
Mass upheaval in Hunan and elsewhere after people are liberated from warlord rule. Further reading: C. Martin Wilbur and Julie Lien-ying How, Missionaries of Revolution: Soviet Advisers and Nationalist China, 1920-1927 Yokoyama Suguru, “The Peasant Movement in Hunan” Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 2: National Revolution and Social Revolution, December 1920-June 1927 A name from this episode: Wu Peifu, Northern warlord Support the show...

Duration:00:32:06

The Northern Expedition Begins: Attempts at Merging the Mass Movement with Regular Warfare

10/1/2020
Examining the role of both organized and unorganized mass support for the Northern Expedition in its first phase, the offensive from Guangdong to Wuhan from May to October 1926. Further reading: Donald Jordan, The Northern Expedition: China's National Revolution of 1926-1928 C. Martin Wilbur and Julie Lien-ying How, Missionaries of Revolution: Soviet Advisers and Nationalist China, 1920-1927 Some names from this episode: Mikhail Borodin, Comintern agent and head of Soviet mission to...

Duration:00:29:27

Mao in 1926: War in Hunan, Coup in Guangzhou, Polemicizing for the Peasant Movement

9/24/2020
Mao's political activity and intellectual development during the first nine months of 1926. Further Reading: Gerald Berkley, “The Canton Peasant Movement Training Institute” Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 2: National Revolution and Social Revolution, December 1920-June 1927 Yokoyama Suguru, “The Peasant Movement in Hunan” Philip C. C. Huang, “Mao Tse-Tung and the Middle Peasants, 1925-1928” Angus McDonald, “The Hunan Peasant Movement Its Urban Origins” Some names from...

Duration:00:27:29

Spreading Peasant Revolution Across Guangdong, and Beyond: The Guangzhou Peasant Movement Training Institute

9/17/2020
How the Communist Party took the formula of "Haifeng + armed self-defense" and set out to organize the peasants of Guangdong, and beyond. Further Reading: Pang Yong-pil, “Peng Pai: From Landlord to Revolutionary” Yuan Gao, “Revolutionary Rural Politics: The Peasant Movement in Guangdong and Its Social-Historical Background, 1922–1926” Robert Marks, Rural Revolution in South China: Peasants and the Making of History in Haifeng County, 1570-1930 Roy Hofheinz, The Broken Wave: The Chinese...

Duration:00:26:23

The Beginning of the Peasant Movement in Guangdong Province: How the Communist Party Got a Mass Base of Peasant Support in Spite of Itself

9/10/2020
Peng Pai and the beginning of the peasant movement in Guangdong Province. Further Reading: Pang Yong-pil, “Peng Pai: From Landlord to Revolutionary” Yuan Gao, “Revolutionary Rural Politics: The Peasant Movement in Guangdong and Its Social-Historical Background, 1922–1926” Robert Marks, Rural Revolution in South China: Peasants and the Making of History in Haifeng County, 1570-1930 Roy Hofheinz, The Broken Wave: The Chinese Communist Peasant Movement, 1922-1928 Fernando Galbiati, P’eng...

Duration:00:22:26

The March 1926 Zhongshan Gunboat Incident: Coup and Countercoup in the Pearl River Delta

9/3/2020
Tensions come to a head between Chiang Kai-shek, Wang Jingwei and General Kuibyshev, as a Soviet plot backfires spectacularly. Further Reading: C. Martin Wilbur and Julie Lien-ying How, Missionaries of Revolution: Soviet Advisers and Nationalist China, 1920-1927 Wu Tien-wei, “Chiang Kai-shek's March Twentieth Coup d'Etat of 1926” Barbara Tuchman, Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-1945 Some names from this episode: Mikhail Borodin, Comintern agent and head of Soviet...

Duration:00:21:33

From Quaker Peace Activist to Maoist Revolutionary: An Oral History of Personal Transformation from a 1971 American Delegation to China

8/27/2020
An oral history interview with Monica Shay (née Newbold, aka Kathryn) about her experience in China in 1971-72. Some names from this episode: William Hinton, author of Fanshen and other books on China Jiang Qing, leading radical during Cultural Revolution and wife of Mao Zedong Revolutionary Union (RU), pro-China communist group in the US in early 1970s Dazhai, model agricultural commune Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=DACDMMMEASJVJ)

Duration:01:36:14

Bonus: New China Song by Prairie Fire

8/24/2020
The song "New China" by the band Prairie Fire, from the 1976 album Break the Chains. This song will be referenced in our next episode. Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=DACDMMMEASJVJ)

Duration:00:07:36

The Beginning of Maoism: Mao Zedong’s “Analysis of All the Classes in Chinese Society”

8/20/2020
Mao’s first major statement on the need for a strategic reorientation toward mobilizing the peasantry. The chart cited in the episode is now on the podcast website (as of 8-24-20): https://peopleshistoryofideas.com/episode-33-the-beginning-of-maoism-mao-zedongs-analysis-of-all-the-classes-in-chinese-society/. Further Reading: Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 2: National Revolution and Social Revolution, December 1920-June 1927 Philip C. C. Huang, “Mao Tse-Tung and the Middle...

Duration:00:26:06

Propaganda, Criticism and Corruption: Mao as Propagandist and Disciplinarian (October 1925 to early 1926)

8/13/2020
Mao as acting head of propaganda for the Guomindang. Further Reading: C. Martin Wilbur and Julie Lien-ying How, Missionaries of Revolution: Soviet Advisers and Nationalist China, 1920-1927 Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 2: National Revolution and Social Revolution, December 1920-June 1927 Some names from this episode: Wang Jingwei, Leader of Guomindang government in Guangdong in late 1925 and early 1926 Mikhail Borodin, Comintern agent and head of Soviet mission to aid...

Duration:00:23:27

Strike, Assassination and War: The Revolution/Counter-Revolution Dialectic in Guangdong in the Second Half of 1925

8/6/2020
The Hong Kong strike, the assassination of Liao Zhongkai, and the Second Eastern Expedition. Further Reading: C. Martin Wilbur and Julie Lien-ying How, Missionaries of Revolution: Soviet Advisers and Nationalist China, 1920-1927 John Erickson, The Soviet High Command: A Military-Political History, 1918-1941 Some names from this episode: Chiang Kai-shek, Japan-trained military officer, close confidant of Sun Yatsen Deng Zhongxia, Communist labor leader, involved in Hong Kong...

Duration:00:25:59