Paperback, 460 pages
Released: January 1956
Chu Teh, one of the legendary figures of the Chinese Revolution, was born in 1886. He was commander in chief of the People’s Revolutionary Army, and this is the story of the first sixty years of his life. As a supreme commanding general, he was probably unique; surely there has never been another commander in chief who, during his years of service, spun, wove, set type, grew and cooked his own food, wrote poetry and lectured not only to his troops on military strategy and tactics but to women’s classes on how to preserve vegetables. Evans Carlson wrote that “Chu Teh has the kindness of a Robert E. Lee, the tenacity of a Grant, and the humility of a Lincoln.”
More than a biography, this work by a great American woman journalist, who took the account from Chu Teh himself, is a social and historical document of the highest value. In tracing her subject’s life from his early peasant days, Agnes Smedley provides both a sociological classic on rural China and a narrative of the Revolution, with few gaps from start to finish, as it appeared to its leading military figure.
“… appears at precisely the right moment to illumine for us not only one man, Chu Teh, but the whole vast complex Chinese Revolution which shaped him and which he in turn did so much to shape.
Much of it reads like a picaresque novel… probably the best work on the Chinese Revolution since Snow’s Red Star Over China.