The Great Chinese Revolution Up To 1949
Publications and Documents which are Now Difficult to Find
In this section of BannedThought.net we are collecting together many of the pamphlets and documents from and about the long revolutionary struggle in China during the Twentieth Century leading up to Liberation in 1949. Many of the pamphlets and documents here were written by foreigners and/or published in foreign countries.
This great revolution was called by Mao a New Democratic revolution, meaning that its purpose was to overthrow feudalism and foreign imperialism and to establish a truly independent and democratic Chinese nation—but that it could only accomplish this under the leadership of the Communist Party. The successful establishment of New Democracy and people’s power then set the stage for the further socialist revolution.
However, this great Chinese revolution itself went through a number of important periods, including the early years of alliance with the Guomindang [Kuomintang], the early Chinese Soviets period, the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1946), and finally the War of Liberation (1946-1949).
Many of the materials from the earliest period, and also some of them from later on, reflect the line and views of the Soviet Union and the Comintern, or such prominent spokesmen for the Comintern as Wang Ming and Earl Browder. There are, however, some independent documents here from those periods, and also some which more truly reflect the line of the Communist Party of China during those periods. We even have a few early translations of some of Mao’s works here, which it should be noted are not identical to the translations which appear in his Selected Works. We are posting them here so people can see how the writings of Mao and the CCP were presented to the world during this period.
As is the case with other sections of historical material on China on BannedThought.net, there are materials here by (or which talk favorably about) individuals such as Wang Ming, Liu Shao-chi [Liu Shaoqi], and Teng Hsiao-p’ing [Deng Xiaoping] who themselves became targets of the revolution later on. We are including such materials here—despite the errors (or crimes!) of these individuals—as part of our documentary record of the Chinese revolution and its internal class struggles.
Some of the documents in this section have been scanned from materials printed almost a century ago, and in some cases they were in very poor condition. Some of the documents have also been taken from other web sites, and show evidence of less than perfect care during in the scanning process. We apologize for these defects, and will replace these documents with better copies if we are able to find or prepare them.
Some of the documents here have the file extension “.djvu” and require the WinDjView program to read them. This reader can be obtained for free at: http://www.windjview.sourceforge.net (Linux users have the capability to read .djvu files integrated into their PDF readers of the major desktops: Okular in KDE, Evince in GNOME.)
For information about Maoist China from 1949 through 1976, see our separate index section on BannedThought.net at https://www.bannedthought.net/China/MaoEra/index.htm and its various sub-sections. For information about present-day capitalist-imperialist China, and current mass struggles there including a developing new Maoist revolutionary movement, see our section on BannedThought.net about contemporary China at https://www.bannedthought.net/China/index.htm
If you know of other materials which should be posted here, or if you have other comments or suggestions, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
General Political Information about the Pre-1949 Period in China:
- [Book:] “The Birth of New China: A sketch of one hundred years, 1842-1942”, by Arthur Clegg, (London: Lawrence & Wishart, April 1943), 154 pages. [Missing cover.] PDF format [8,751 KB]
- “Thirty Years of the Communist Party of China: An Outline History”, by Hu Chiao-mu, (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1951), 100 pages. PDF format [6,811 KB]
- “Mao Tse-tung on the Chinese Revolution”, by Chen Po-ta [Chen Boda], written in April 1951. (Peking: FLP, 1953), 96 pages. PDF format [3,955 KB]
Non-Political Information about Pre-1949 China:
- “China”, by J. W. Ludowici, (Hong Kong: 1926), 43 pages. A curious and idiosyncratic pamphlet. Searchable PDF format [6,294 KB]
- [Book:] The Living China: A Pictorial Record — 1930, huge book with hundreds of photographs and with captions in Chinese and English, 378 pages. WinDjView format [Enormous file: 124,901 KB]
- “Nanking Pictorial”, by Chu Chi (or Chu Sieh), 1936, 104 pages. This is a collection of over 300 photographs of this part of China during the early 1930s, with captions in Chinese and English. WinDjView format [13,369 KB]
- [Book:] Nanking, 200 Aufnahmen von Hedda Hammer, text von Alfred Hoffman, [200 photographs with text in German], (Shanghai: Verlag von Max Noessler & Co., 1945), 256 pages. WinDjView format [Large file: 76,293 KB]
- [Book:] Travels of a Photographer in China: 1933-1946, by Hedda Morrison (née Hammer), (Hong Kong: Oxford Univ. Press, 1987), includes many of the same photos in the above volume but in better quality, 252 pages. WinDjView format [Large file: 58,183 KB]
- [Book:] “Nèiménggû gû jiànzhú”, in Chinese. (Peking: 1959), 122 pages. This is a collection of photos of old buildings and structures in Inner Mongolia. PDF format [26,967 KB]
The Pre-Marxist Era (Up to Around 1920):
- [Book:] “The Opium War”, by the Compilation Group for the “History of Modern China” Series, 1st edition, 149 pages. (Peking: FLP, 1976) PDF Format [6,768 KB]
- [Book:] “The Reform Movement of 1898”, by the Compilation Group for the “History of Modern China” Series, 1st edition, (Peking: FLP, 1976), 150 pages. PDF format [5,037 KB]
- [Book:] “The Yi Ho Tuan Movement of 1900”, by the Compilation Group for the “History of Modern China” Series, about what is called the “Boxer Rebellion” in the West, (Peking: FLP, 1976), 148 pages. PDF format [5,849 KB]
The Early Years of the Revolution (1920s-1936):
- [Book:] “The Awakening of China”, by James H. Dolsen, (Chicago: Daily Worker Publishing Co., 1926), 267 pages. [156 PDF sheets] PDF format [7,467 KB]
- “China In Revolt”, Soviet and Comintern documents, (Not dated, but probably from around 1927), 68 pages. PDF format [14,582 KB] Includes:
- “The Prospects of the Revolution in China”, speech by Comrade Stalin in the Chinese Commission of the enlarged Executive Committee of the Communist International (E.C.C.I.) on Nov. 30, 1926.
- Speech by Tan Ping-shan in the Plenary Session of the E.C.C.I.
- “China and the Capitalist World”, a speech by Comrade Manuilsky.
- “The Prerequisites and Tasks of the Chinese Revolution”, a speech by Comrade Bucharin at the Russian Party Conference.
- “Stalin and the Chinese Revolution”, by Chen Po-ta [Chen Boda], April 21, 1952. Focuses on, and lauds, Stalin’s supposed contributions in the 1920s to the development of the Chinese Revolution. (Peking: FLP, 1953), 68 pages. [Note this scan has some bleed-through from the print on the reverse sides of the pages, but is still legible.] PDF format [11,094 KB]
- “Schanghai-Kanton”, by Karl August Wittfogel. In German. (Berlin: 1927), 33 pages. [Note: At the time this pamphlet was written Wittfogel was a member of the Communist Party of Germany. After World War II he was a renegade and a fervent anti-communist.] WinDjView format [9,173 KB]
- “Die Arbeiter Chinas Kampf gegen den Imperialismus: Aus dem Bericht der ersten Delegation der Gewerkschaften der Sowjetunion nach China”. [The Struggle of Chinese Workers against Imperialism: From the report of the first Soviet delegation of union leaders to visit China.] In German. (Berlin: 1927), 74 pages. PDF format [15,037 KB]
- “Civil War in Nationalist China”, by Earl Browder, (Chicago: Labor Unity Pub. Ass’n, 1927), 67 pages. PDF format [19,258 KB]
- [Book:] “China’s Millions: Revolution in Central China, 1927”, by Anna Louise Strong, (Peking: New World Press, 1965), 206 pages. This is a re-issue of the 1927 volume which was the first of a projected six volume set of her Selected Works on China’s Revolution. [We do not know if the other projected volumes were published later.] PDF format [12,061 KB]
- “In den Händen der Roten” [“In the Hands of the Reds”], in German. “This is an anti-communist propaganda piece by Dominican missionaries who were obviously fishing for donations at home. What makes it interesting is that it contains a rather accurate and detailed description of the fighting in 1927-1929 in the Tingchow district, something usually barely mentioned in general works... It also contains a separate chapter on Zhu Te which is unusual for such an early date. (Chinese names are transliterated according to the nowadays obscure Lessing-Othmer System.)” Link to posting on archive.org.
- [Magazine:] “People’s Tribute”, edited by T’ang Liang-li. Supportive of Chiang Kai-shek and Wang Ching-wei. Volume 1, #1-3, March-April-May 1931, first three issues bound as one, 116 pages. WinDjView format [25,394 KB]
- “War in the Far East”, by Henry Hall, International Pamphlets (N.Y.), No. 2, 1932, 32 pages. PDF format [1,938 KB]
- “War in China”, by Ray Stewart, International Pamphlets (N.Y.), No. 19, 1932, 32 pages. PDF format [2,012 KB]
- “Soviet China”, by M. James & R. Doonping, International Pamphlets (N.Y.), No. 20, 1932, 30 pages. [Note: Unfortunately page 31 is missing in this scan.] PDF format [4,185 KB]
- [Book:] “Suppressing Communist-Banditry in China”, edited by T’ang Liang-li, and of course representing the Chiang Kai-shek/Guomindang point of view. (Shanghai: 1934), 146 pages. WinDjView format [41,731 KB]
- “Kommunistengreuel in der Chinamission”, [“Communist Horror in the China Mission”], by P. Theodosius Richard, O.F.M., In German. This is a pamphlet “by some Franciscan friars captured whilst crossing the route of the Long march” and is “your usual sanctimonious hypocritical missionary crap” as you would expect with something published in Nazi Germany in 1935, 52 pages. WinDjView format [8,200 KB]
- “The Revolutionary Movement in the Colonial Countries”, by Wang Ming, the revised copy of the speech given on Aug. 7, 1935 in Moscow at the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International. (NY: Workers Library Publishers, 1935), 68 pages. PDF format [4,017 KB]
[German edition:] “Im Zeichen der chinesischen Sowjets: Die revolutionäre Bewegung in den kolonialen und halbkolonialen Ländern und die Taktik der kommunistischen Parteien”, (Straßburg: Prometheus Verlag, 1935), 64 pages [missing pp. 40-41]. Searchable PDF format [20,393 KB]; WinDjView format [13,687 KB]
- [Book:] “On the Long March with Chairman Mao”, by Chen Chang-feng, a PLA orderly who accompanied Mao on the famous Long March in 1934-36. (Peking: FLP, 1972), 2nd ed. [1st edition was in 1959.], 136 pages. Searchable PDF format [5,188 KB]; Second PDF copy: Darker Image Scan [5,019 KB]; Nepali translation: PDF format [116 pages, 1,444 KB] (Translated by Devendra Timla.)
The War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1946):
- “China Can Win! The New Stage in the Aggression of Japanese Imperialism and the New Period in the Struggle of the Chinese People”, by Wang Ming, (NY: Workers Library Publishers, 1937), 52 pages. PDF format [10,408 KB]
- [Book:] “Four Months of War”, a pen and picture record of the war between Japan and China in and around Shanghai from August 9 until December 20, 1937, by the North China Daily News, (Shanghai: 1937), 151 pages. This rare item represents the views of the British and other foreign Europeans and Americans resident in Shanghai at the outbreak of the war, and is surprisingly almost neutral (!) with regard to the war between Japan and China. Searchable PDF format [30,972 KB]
- “Heroic China — Fifteen Years of the Communist Party of China”, by Pavel Miff, (NY: Workers Library Publishers, 1937), 98 pages. [Missing pages 92-93, and a few pages clipped along the edge during scanning.] English: PDF format [24,371 KB]; Probably this same work is also available in German [“Kommunistische Partei Chinas Im Kampfe”] at archive.org at: https://archive.org/details/KommunistischeParteiChinasImKampfe1937
- “China’s Fight for National Liberation”, by Chen Lin [Zhen Lin], (NY: Workers Library Publishers, 1938), 64 pages plus cover. PDF format [3,794 KB]
- “Norman Bethune in China”, a wonderful, inspiring work featuring fine ink drawings on every page. The adaptation is by Chung Chih-cheng, and the illustrations are by Hsu Jung-chu, Hsu Yung, Ku Lien-tang and Wang Yi-sheng. (Peking: FLP, 1975), 124 pages. PDF Format [7,884 KB]
- “China’s New Democracy”, by Mao Tse-tung. Introduction by Earl Browder[!]. (Toronto: Progress Books, 1944), 72 pages. [This major essay by Mao was written in January 1940, and appears in the different (authorized) translation under the title “On New Democracy” in the Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. II, p. 339.] PDF format [20,222 KB]
- “In Guerrilla China”, Report of the China Defence League chaired by Mme. Sun Yat-sen (Soong Ching Ling), (Chungking, China: 1943), 76 pages. PDF format [24,278 KB]
- [Book:] “The Chinese Communists”, by Stuart Gelder, (London: Victor Gollancz, 1946), 340 pages. PDF format [21,518 KB]
- “The Historical Experience of the War Against Fascism”, by the Editorial Department of Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily], 1965, 27 pages. PDF format [1,698 KB] [Also available in several other places on the Internet, including in HTML format at: http://www.marx2mao.com/Other/HEAF65.html and at: Ibiblio.org ]
The War of Liberation (1946-1949):
- “Storms on the Chinkiang Docks”, a story (graphic history) of a struggle on the docks during the revolutionary war. Illustrations by Hu Po-tsung and Wang Meng-chi. (Peking: FLP, 1975), 88 pages. PDF Format [5,119 KB]
- “A Study of Land Rent in Pre-Liberation China”, 2nd ed. (Revised Translation), by Chen Po-ta [Chen Boda], (Peking: FLP, 1966), 120 pages. [This work was originally written in 1945-46, and later revised and published in its first Chinese edition in 1952. The first English edition appeared in 1958.] PDF format [3,479 KB]
- “The U.S.S.R. and China”, by Arthur Clegg, (London: Russia Today Society, 1946), 32 pages. PDF format [2,987 KB]
- “UNRRA Relief for the Chinese People: A Report by CLARA”, by the Information Department of the China Liberated Areas Relief Association, Shanghai, July, 1947, 48 pages. This report shows that while the people in the Chinese liberated areas suffered the most from the long Japanese invasion; contributed the most to the defeat of Japan in China; and constituted at least half of the Chinese population—nevertheless received only about 2% of the UN recovery grain and other aid distributed in China, while most of the UN aid illegally went to help Chiang Kai-shek’s military or else was embezzled by his forces. PDF format [7,130 KB]
- “In His Mind A Million Bold Warriors” — Reminiscences of the life of Chairman Mao Tsetung during the northern Shensi campaign [March 1947-March 1948], by Yen Chang-lin, (Peking: FLP, 1972), 95 pages. PDF format [3,706 KB]
- “Great Victory for the Military Line of Chairman Mao Tsetung — A Criticism of Lin Piao’s Bourgeois Military Line in the Liaohsi-Shenyang and Peiping-Tientsin Campaigns”, by Chan Shih-pu, (Peking: FLP, 1976), 124 pages plus 2 large maps. Searchable PDF format [4,731 KB]
- [Book:] “Tomorrow’s China”, by Anna Louse Strong, (NY: Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy, 1948), 133 pages. PDF format [10,824 KB]
- “New China, New World”, by Arthur Clegg, (London: 1949), 86 pages. PDF format [4,951 KB]
- “China — From a Semi-Colony to a People’s Democracy”, by G. Astafyev, (Bombay: People’s Publishing House, 1950), 69 pages. This is the Soviet view at the time about how and why the Chinese Revolution of 1949 was successful. PDF format [4,946 KB]
People’s War and Military Issues
- “Strategy: One Against Ten; Tactics: Ten Against One — An Exposition of Comrade Mao Tse-tung’s Thinking on the Strategy and Tactics of the People’s War”, by Li Tso-peng, (Peking: FLP, 1966), 52 pages. Originally in Hongqi [Red Flag], #23-24, 1964. [It should be noted that although the basic ideas in this pamphlet represent the strategic and tactical thinking of Mao, General Li Tso-peng later totally disgraced himself by joining Lin Biao’s attempted coup and assassination of Mao!] PDF Format [16,662 KB]
The portion of this article which was published in A World to Win magazine in 1991 is also available in HTML Format [44 KB] and is now available here in German translation, 16 pages. German: PDF Format [197 KB]
- “Democratic Tradition of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army”, by Ho Lung, published on August 1, 1965, the 38th anniversary of the founding of the PLA. (Peking: FLP, 1965) PDF Format [2,296 KB]
- “The People Defeated Japanese Fascism and They Can Certainly Defeat U.S. Imperialism Too”, by Lo Jui-ching, (Vice-Premier of the State Council and Chief of the General Staff of the PLA), a speech made in Peking on Sept. 3, 1965 at a mass rally held in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the victory of the War of Resistance Against Japan, 36 pages. (Peking: FLP, 1965) PDF Format [1,757 KB]
- “Long Live the Victory of People’s War!”, by Lin Piao [Lin Biao], Sept. 3, 1965. This famous essay was written in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japan. It is often still viewed as an important statement of the role of people’s war in the world despite Lin’s own personal treachery later on. (Peking: FLP, 3rd ed., 1967), 76 pages. PDF Format [2,749 KB]
Magazines from China, Mostly from the Maoist Era
- Peking Review/Beijing Review entire issues and individual articles: https://www.massline.org/PekingReview/ [This archive now has all of the issues from the GPCR period and most of the issues for the entire 1958-1990 period.] There are many articles and reminiscences scattered throughout this magazine about the revolutionary wars leading up to Liberation in 1949.
Retrospective Commentary about the Chinese Revolution up until 1949:
- “From the Dixie Mission to the Marshall Mission: U.S. Relations with the Chinese Communist Party and the Guomindang, 1943-1946”, by a long-time American Maoist, April 2016, 41 pages. Searchable PDF format [338 KB]
- “The Political, Military and Negotiating Strategies of the Chinese Communist Party (1937-1946) and Recent Developments in Nepal”, by the MLM Revolutionary Study Group in the U.S. (February 2007, revised April 2009. 17 pp.) The most germane experience in assessing recent developments in a semi-feudal, semi-colonial country like Nepal is the military and political strategy and tactics of the Chinese revolution. A close look at the CCP’s integrated political-military strategy and negotiating tactics from 1937-1946—which served to advance China’s protracted people’s war to final victory—can yield important lessons for the revolution in Nepal and other countries, for how revolutionaries should be “firm as a pine and flexible as a willow.” PDF Format (301 KB); MS Word Format (86 KB)
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