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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 Nanchang Uprising (August 1, 1927)

2/17/2021
The mutiny that founded the Chinese Red Army. Further reading: Tony Saich, The Rise to Power of the Chinese Communist Party Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 3: From the Jinggangshan to the Establishment of the Jiangxi Soviets, July 1927-December 1930 Marcia Ristaino, China’s Art of Revolution: The Mobilization of Discontent, 1927 and 1928 Agnes Smedley, The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh [Zhu De] Chang Kuo-t’ao [Zhang Guotao], The Rise of the Chinese Communist...

Duration:00:28:14

The End of the United Front (June to July 1927)

2/7/2021
As the Wuhan regime collapses, so does the united front. Soviet advisors leave China, Chinese Communists go underground. The purge strikes Wuhan. Further reading: C. Martin Wilbur, The Nationalist Revolution in China, 1923-1928 Anna Louise Strong, China’s Millions Vera Vladimirovna Vishnyakova-Akimova, Two Years in Revolutionary China, 1925-1927 C. Martin Wilbur and Julie Lien-ying How, Missionaries of Revolution: Soviet Advisers and Nationalist China, 1920-1927 Tony Saich, The Rise to...

Duration:00:21:58

“Like Taking a Bath in a Toilet” (May and June 1927)

1/29/2021
The Comintern’s guidance falls short in response to the ongoing massacre of peasants. Further reading: C. Martin Wilbur, The Nationalist Revolution in China, 1923-1928 Donald Jordan, The Northern Expedition: China’s National Revolution of 1926-1928 Alexander Pantsov, The Bolsheviks and the Chinese Revolution, 1919-1927 Some names from this episode: Tang Shengzhi, Hunan warlord who sided with the National Revolutionary Army and contested leadership with Chiang Kai-shek Ye Ting,...

Duration:00:26:05

Mao Tries to Legislate a Peasant Revolution: The Wuhan Land Commission (April to May 1927)

1/23/2021
Mao’s experience on the Wuhan Guomindang Left government’s Land Commission, with some comparative remarks on land reform in Communist thought. Further reading: 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 Lynne Viola, The Best Sons of the Fatherland: Workers in the Vanguard of Soviet...

Duration:00:29:39

“An Example of the Chinese Tenant-Peasant’s Life”

1/23/2021
This episode is an appendix to episode 51, and consists of a booklet written by Mao Zedong describing the life of a tenant-peasant in Hunan. This episode should help you to concretely picture peasant life in Hunan during the period we have been discussing in the podcast, while also giving a short example of Mao Zedong’s practice of social investigation. Most of this is Mao running down the income and expenditures of a tenant-peasant, and just the last few minutes of this recording are Mao...

Duration:00:20:10

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