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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

Clandestine Transcripts of Revolutionary Globalization: The Shining Paths of Late Cultural Revolution Maoism

4/28/2022
A talk that I recently delivered at the University of Hamburg, focused on the development of a new socialist political economy late in the Cultural Revolution and how this influenced the Communist Party of Peru. Further reading: Alessandro Russo, Cultural Revolution and Revolutionary Culture Fabio Lanza, The End of Concern: Maoist China, Activism, and Asian Studies Antonio Díaz Martínez, China: La revolución agraria Catalina Adrianzén, “Semblanza de Antonio Díaz Martínez” Peer Moller...

Duration:00:44:39

Nuclear War and Communist Revolution

3/7/2022
In light of the Ukraine crisis, a historical look at communist thinking on the connection between a third world war and revolution. Further reading: Sergei N. Goncharov, John W. Lewis, and Xue Litai, Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War David Holloway, Stalin and the Bomb Edward Wilson, “Thank you Vasili Arkhipov, the man who stopped nuclear war” Mao Zedong, “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People” Mao Zedong, “Speech at a Meeting of the...

Duration:00:30:10

The Beginning of the Midyear Crisis (June 1928)

2/27/2022
The Hunan Provincial Committee decides that Mao must obey its authority. Further reading: Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base Area Elizabeth Perry, Anyuan: Mining China’s Revolutionary Tradition Some names from this episode: Wang Meisheng, Courier between Anyuan and the Jinggangshan Du Xiujing, Inspector sent to the Jinggangshan by the Hunan Provincial Committee Yuan Desheng, Sent to work in the Jinggangshan by the Hunan Provincial Committee Yang...

Duration:00:26:24

Land Revolution and Communist Party Growth: The High Tide of the Jinggangshan Base Area (Summer 1928)

2/10/2022
In the wake of their military victories in late Spring 1928, the Communists carried out a major land redistribution and a mass recruitment drive. There were some unforeseen complications. Further reading: Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base Area Pang Xianzhi and Jin Chongji, Mao Zedong: A Biography, vol. 1: 1893-1949 Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 3: From the Jinggangshan to the Establishment of the Jiangxi Soviets, July 1927-December...

Duration:00:30:47

Beating Back Suppression Campaigns and Expanding the Jinggangshan Base Area (May to June 1928)

2/3/2022
Mao Zedong and Zhu De learn warfare through warfare as they face continuing onslaughts from Guomindang forces. Further reading/watching: Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base Area Pang Xianzhi and Jin Chongji, Mao Zedong: A Biography, vol. 1: 1893-1949 China: A Century of Revolution documentary Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), “Experiences of the People’s War and Some Important Questions” Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), “Advance in the Great...

Duration:00:26:00

The Jinggangshan Junction of Forces: Mao Zedong and Zhu De Unite (April to May 1928)

1/27/2022
The unification of Mao Zedong’s and Zhu De’s forces. Some discussion of the problems involved in unifying the Communist armed forces. Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base Area Pang Xianzhi and Jin Chongji, Mao Zedong: A Biography, vol. 1: 1893-1949 Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 3: From the Jinggangshan to the Establishment of the Jiangxi Soviets, July...

Duration:00:29:33

The Wages of Revolution: Life Underground in Shanghai in the Late 1920s (Part 3)

1/20/2022
Discussing pay for professional revolutionaries, the role of servants in the lives of Communist leaders, and the Comintern in Shanghai. Further reading: Patricia Stranahan, Underground: The Shanghai Communist Party and the Politics of Survival, 1927-1937 Elizabeth Perry, Shanghai on Strike: The Politics of Chinese Labor Wang Fan-hsi [Wang Fanxi], Memoirs of a Chinese Revolutionary Gavin McCrea, Mrs. Engels Frederick Litten, “The Noulens Affair” Anna Belogurova, “The Civic World of...

Duration:00:24:07

Friendship, Compartmentalization, and Assassination Squads: Life Underground in Shanghai in the Late 1920s (Part 2)

1/13/2022
How did the Communist Party try to protect itself in Shanghai? We discuss the compartmentalized party organization and the creation of the Special Services Division. Further reading: Patricia Stranahan, Underground: The Shanghai Communist Party and the Politics of Survival, 1927-1937 Timothy Cheek, “Making Maoism: Ideology and Organization in the Yan’an Rectification Movement, 1942-1944” Mao Zedong, “Combat Liberalism” Xuezhi Guo, China's Security State: Philosophy, Evolution, and...

Duration:00:25:20

Life Underground in Shanghai in the Late 1920s (Part 1)

1/6/2022
The Communist Party Center remained underground in the dangerous city of Shanghai during the late 1920s and early 1930s. Further reading/watching: Patricia Stranahan, Underground: The Shanghai Communist Party and the Politics of Survival, 1927-1937 China: A Century of Revolution documentary Josephine Fowler, Japanese and Chinese Immigrant Activists: Organizing in American and International Communist Movements, 1919–1933 Chang Kuo-t’ao [Zhang Guotao], The Rise of the Chinese Communist...

Duration:00:24:58

Mao’s (Temporary) Expulsion from the Communist Party and the Collapse of the South Hunan Uprising (March and April 1928)

12/19/2021
The Party Center puts the South Hunan Special Committee in charge of the Jinggangshan, and the contrast between the strategies advocated by Mao and the Party Center are put on vivid display. Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Marcia Ristaino, China’s Art of Revolution: The Mobilization of Discontent, 1927 and 1928 Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base Area Pang Xianzhi and Jin Chongji, Mao Zedong: A...

Duration:00:22:47

The Southern Hunan Uprising (Early 1928)

12/14/2021
We look at the successful conquest of three cities (and one heart) by Zhu De during the course of the uprising he led in south Hunan at the beginning of 1928. The link for my new course on academia.edu mentioned at the end of the episode: www.academia.edu/learn/MatthewRothwell Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Marcia Ristaino, China’s Art of Revolution: The Mobilization of Discontent, 1927 and 1928 Stephen Averill, Revolution in the...

Duration:00:23:36

Studying Marxism and Getting Thrown in Jail: Zhu De in Germany (1922-1926)

11/20/2021
Following Zhu De in Shanghai and Germany, finishing up our four-part detour through the early life of Zhu De. Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Some names from this episode: Chen Duxiu, first general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Zhou Enlai, organized branches of the Chinese Communist Party in Europe when he was a student there in the early 1920s, before returning to China to become a leading Communist Sun Bingwen, Zhu...

Duration:00:21:55

Zhu De and The Army for the Defense of the Republic in Sichuan and Yunnan (1916-1922)

11/2/2021
As the Army for the Defense of the Republic faces defections from the revolutionary nationalist cause as well as powerful warlord enemies, Zhu De rethinks the military vocation. Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Some names from this episode: Cai E, Republican general and governor of Yunnan after the 1911-12 revolution Yuan Shikai, leader of the Beiyang Army and dictator after the fall of the Qing Xiong Kewu, Nationalist general...

Duration:00:24:25

From Gym Teacher to General: Zhu De in Revolution and Rebellion (1907-1916)

9/23/2021
Following Zhu De from his time as a teacher of physical training at a modern school, through his time at the Yunnan Military Academy, the Revolution of 1911 and the rebellion against Yuan Shikai. Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Some names from this episode: Cai E, Republican general and governor of Yunnan after the 1911-12 revolution Yuan Shikai, leader of the Beiyang Army and dictator after the fall of the Qing Xiao Jufang, Zhu...

Duration:00:20:56

From Poor Peasant to Gym Teacher: The Early Life of Zhu De

9/16/2021
Taking a look back at the early life of Zhu De, the man who would later be Mao’s main partner in revolution. Further reading: Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Some names from this episode: Zhang Tailei, leader of the Guangzhou Uprising of December 1927 Wang Zuo, Bandit leader who joined with Mao Zedong Shi Dakai, Taiping general who fought a campaign in Sichuan Emperor Guangxu, Emperor of China who tried to assert his power during Hundred Days...

Duration:00:27:17

Engels on Insurrection

9/9/2021
The story behind how guidance on communist armed struggle got into a major American newspaper in 1852. Listener requested background on the text used by Lenin and which was so influential in the Guangzhou Commune. Further reading: Frederick Engels, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Germany Lenin, “Advice of an Onlooker” Some names from this episode: Zhang Tailei, leader of the Guangzhou Uprising of December 1927 Support the show...

Duration:00:24:13

The Guangzhou Commune (December 11-13, 1927)

9/2/2021
The last major armed uprising of 1927, in which the Communists temporarily took over Guangzhou. Further reading: Arif Dirlik, “Narrativizing Revolution: The Guangzhou Uprising (11-13 December 1927) in Workers’ Perspective” Marcia Ristaino, China’s Art of Revolution: The Mobilization of Discontent, 1927 and 1928 Hsiao Tso-Liang, “Chinese Communism and the Canton Soviet of 1927” Lenin, “Advice of an Onlooker” Some names from this episode: Zhang Tailei, secretary of the Guangdong...

Duration:00:21:20

Red Canton: Background to the Guangzhou Uprising of December 1927

8/26/2021
Some background on the situation in Guangzhou leading up to the uprising. Further reading: Arif Dirlik, “Narrativizing Revolution: The Guangzhou Uprising (11-13 December 1927) in Workers’ Perspective” Marcia Ristaino, China’s Art of Revolution: The Mobilization of Discontent, 1927 and 1928 Hsiao Tso-Liang, “Chinese Communism and the Canton Soviet of 1927” Manuel Gomez, “Organize for Liberation of the Colonies: Canton Center of World Movement” Some names from this episode: Wang...

Duration:00:21:26

‘Blind Actionism’ in Action: Understanding the Hundreds of Small Revolts Led by Communists at the End of the 1920s in China

8/19/2021
Using the early November 1927 peasant revolt in Jiangsu province to illustrate features common to the many small Communist-led uprisings at the end of the 1920s. Further reading: Marcia Ristaino, China’s Art of Revolution: The Mobilization of Discontent, 1927 and 1928 Chang Liu, “Making Revolution in Jiangnan: Communists and the Yangzi Delta Countryside, 1927-1945” Some names from this episode: Qu Qiubai, top leader of Communist Party beginning in the summer of 1927 Zhu De, Communist...

Duration:00:23:07

Summing Up Failures, or Playing the Blame Game? The November 1927 Politburo Meeting in Shanghai

8/12/2021
The Politburo meets to decide whether the leadership’s overall policy was wrong, or whether all the cadres carrying out the policy are just bad. Further reading: Marcia Ristaino, China’s Art of Revolution: The Mobilization of Discontent, 1927 and 1928 Tony Saich, The Rise to Power of the Chinese Communist Party Chang Kuo-t’ao [Zhang Guotao], The Rise of the Chinese Communist Party (2 volumes) Some names from this episode: Chen Duxiu, General Secretary of the Communist Party until...

Duration:00:28:28