9     United Fronts: The Guomindang vs. the Communists (1921-1937)                      


Primary Resources 


Document 9.1


“Hometown,” a short story by Lu Xun, first published in Xin Qingnian (New Youth magazine), May 1921


Document 9.2


Excerpts from “The Guidelines of New Life Movement”, by Chiang Kai-shek, Daily News, May 15, 1934


Document 9.3


Excerpts from “Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan,” by Mao Zedong, March 1927

Document 9.4

“The Long March,” a poem by Mao Zedong, October 1935


Document 9.5


“Jinsha Jiang” (“The River of Golden Sand”), an anonymous account describing this segment of the Long March, 1934–35


Document 9.6


“The Bridge of Iron Chains,” an account describing crossing the Luding Bridge on the Long March, 1934–35


Document 9.7


"Jiajin Shan” (“The Great Snow Mountain”), an anonymous account describing a segment of the Long March, 1934–35


Document 9.8


Excerpts from “Political Mobilization for the War of Resistance,” a lecture by Mao Zedong, May 1938


Document 9.9


“Manifesto on the Seizure of Chiang Kai-shek,” a telegram sent to the nation by General Zhang Xueliang, December 12, 1936

Document 9.10

“The Rebellion in Xi’an,” a report in the Manchester Guardian Weekly, July 16, 1937

Document 9.11,a&b

Photographs at site of the seizure of Chiang Kai-shek outside Xi’an, 2006

Document 9.12,a-c

Cartoons by Sapajou in The North-China Daily News, 1936-1937

Document 9.13

Photograph of Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong, and Bo Gu, 1937



Supplementary Resources


Item 9.A

Guidelines for “Hometown” character interviews

Item 9.B

Map of the Long March

Item 9.C

Map of China under Chiang Kai-shek, 1928–1937



Suggested Resources




Dong, Stella. Shanghai: The Rise and Fall of a Decadent City. New York: William Morrow, 2000.

A history of the city at the center of China’s turbulent revolutionary years.


Gray, Jack. Rebellions and Revolutions: China from the 1800s to 2000. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

A concise and accessible introduction to China’s recent history.


Hahn, Emily. The Soong Sisters. New York: Doubleday, 1941.

Written by an American expatriate living in China, this biography offers insight into the inner workings of the Republican era.


Li, Laura Tyson. Madame Chiang Kai-Shek: China’s Eternal First Lady. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006.


Lu Xun. Diary of a Madman and Other Stories. Trans. William Lyell. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1990.


Snow, Edgar. Red Star Over China. New York: Grove Press, 1993.

A U.S. journalist’s account of the Chinese Communist movement and its leadership until the late 1930s. Originally published in 1937.


Spence, Jonathan and Annping Chin. The Chinese Century: A Photographic History of the Last Hundred Years. New York: Random House, 1996.


Sun Shuyun. The Long March: The True History of Communist China’s Founding Myth. New York: Doubleday, 2006.

Sun retraces the route of the Long March, interviewing survivors and uncovering truth to the myth of how China’s Communist Party escaped the Guomindang.


Taylor, Jay. The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009.


Yu Hua. To Live: A Novel. Trans. Michael Berry. New York: Anchor Books, 2003.

This contemporary novel chronicles the life of the son of a wealthy family who gambles away his fortune, survives war and famine, and manages to endure the myriad twists and turns of the Guomindang and Communist periods. 




Chinese Civil War Map

A map of the Long March, 1934–1935. From the History Department of the U.S. Military Academy, West Point.


“Fundamentals of National Reconstruction,” Sun Yat-sen

An important political statement by Sun Yat-sen, founder of the Nationalist Party, in 1923.


An Illustrated History of the Communist Party of China

This site contains background information and photographs from important moments in the early history of the Chinese Communist Party.


Mao Zedong Library

Translations of Selected Works of Mao Zedong volumes 1–5.


“A Statement on Chiang Kai-Shek’s Statement,” Mao Zedong

From December 28, 1936, in response to Chiang’s “Admonition to Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng.”




China in Revolution, vol. 1 of China: A Century of Revolution (120 mins; 2007)

This documentary provides footage of the Republican Period and interviews with Chinese people who lived through this era.


The Last Emperor (162 mins; 1987)

This film poignantly captures the anachronism of a child-emperor coming to power in China in the early twentieth century and the subsequent political turmoil.


To Live (133 mins; 1994)

This film spans four decades of the twentieth century in China. It tells the story of a couple and their two children as they struggle to survive the constantly changing political climate. In Mandarin with subtitles.


Writers and Revolutionaries (60 mins; 1992)

Volume IV of the ten-part Pacific Century series focuses on the role of intellectuals in the rise of twentieth-century nationalism and progressivism in the East. 



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