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People's History of Ideas Podcast

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.

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

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, 1927-1937Elizabeth Perry, Shanghai on Strike: The Politics of Chinese LaborWang Fan-hsi [Wang Fanxi], Memoirs of a Chinese RevolutionaryGavin McCrea, Mrs. EngelsFrederick Litten, “The Noulens Affair” Anna Belogurova, “The Civic World of International Communism: Taiwanese communists and the Comintern (1921-1931)”Onimaru Takeshi, “Shanghai Connection: The Construction and Collapse of the Comintern Network in East and Southeast Asia”Jospehine Fowler, “From East to West and West to East: Ties of Solidarity in the Pan-Pacific Revolutionary Trade Union Movement, 1923-1934”Josephine Fowler, Japanese and Chinese Immigrant Activists: Organizing in American and International Communist Movements, 1919–1933Frederic Wakeman, Policing Shanghai, 1927-1937Some names from this episode:Liu Shaoqi, Leading CommunistHe Baozhen, Communist cadre and wife of Liu ShaoqiLi Dazhao, Co-founder of Chinese Communist PartyQu Qiubai, Top Communist leaderWang Fanxi, A member of the Central Committee Organization BureauZhang Guotao, Leading CommunistPeng Shuzi, Leading Communist expelled in 1929Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=DACDMMMEASJVJ)

24mins

20 Jan 2022

Rank #1

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

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, 1927-1937Timothy 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 PoliticsSome names from this episode:Qu Qiubai, Top Communist leader from mid-1927 to mid-1928Wang Shiwei, Cadre expelled during Yan’an rectification campaignGu Shunzhang, Zhou Enlai’s deputy in the Special Services DivisionHe Zhihua, Zhu De’s former lover from Germany, who betrayed the Communist PartySupport the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=DACDMMMEASJVJ)

25mins

13 Jan 2022

Rank #2

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

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, 1927-1937China: A Century of Revolution documentaryJosephine Fowler, Japanese and Chinese Immigrant Activists: Organizing in American and International Communist Movements, 1919–1933Chang Kuo-t’ao [Zhang Guotao], The Rise of the Chinese Communist Party (2 volumes)Wang Fan-hsi [Wang Fanxi], Memoirs of a Chinese RevolutionaryChristina Gilmartin, Engendering the Chinese Revolution: Radical Women, Communist Politics, and Mass Movements in the 1920sFrederic Wakeman, Policing Shanghai, 1927-1937Some names from this episode:Deng Yingchao, Communist Party activist and wife of Zhou EnlaiZhang Guotao, Leading CommunistLin Zhuhan, Leading CommunistLi Weihan, Head of CCP Organizational DepartmentGong Yinbing, CCP treasurerHe Shuheng, Communist cadreLi Lisan, Leading CommunistLiu Shaoqi, Leading CommunistHe Baozhen, Communist cadre and wife of Liu ShaoqiWang Yizhi, Communist cadre and widow of Zhang TaileiZhang Tailei, Leader of Guangzhou CommuneChen Yannian, Chair of Jiangsu Provincial Committee for a very short time until his arrestChen Duxiu, Co-founder of Communist PartyZhu De, Communist military leaderHe Zhihua, Zhe De’s embittered lover from GermanyQu Qiubai, Top Communist leader from mid-1927 to mid-1928Wang Fanxi, Member of Organization bureauXu Baihao, Communist union leaderSupport the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=DACDMMMEASJVJ)

24mins

6 Jan 2022

Rank #3

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

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 1928Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base AreaPang Xianzhi and Jin Chongji, Mao Zedong: A Biography, vol. 1: 1893-1949Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 3: From the Jinggangshan to the Establishment of the Jiangxi Soviets, July 1927-December 1930Some names from this episode:Zhu De, Communist military commanderLi Weihan, member of politburo standing committeeZhou Lu, head of the military branch of the Southern Hunan Special CommitteeWang Zuo, Bandit leader who joined with Mao ZedongYuan Wencai, Bandit leader who joined with Mao ZedongSupport the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=DACDMMMEASJVJ)

22mins

19 Dec 2021

Rank #4

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The Southern Hunan Uprising (Early 1928)

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/MatthewRothwellFurther 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 1928Stephen Averill, Revolution in the Highlands: China’s Jinggangshan Base AreaPang Xianzhi and Jin Chongji, Mao Zedong: A Biography, vol. 1: 1893-1949Stuart Schram, ed., Mao’s Road to Power, vol. 3: From the Jinggangshan to the Establishment of the Jiangxi Soviets, July 1927-December 1930Christina Gilmartin, Engendering the Chinese Revolution: Radical Women, Communist Politics, and Mass Movements in the 1920sSome names from this episode:Zhu De, Communist military commanderHu Shaohai, Communist from YizhangFan Shisheng, Guomindang general and old friend of Zhu DeXu Kexiang, Notorious Guomindang general known as the Peasant ButchererTang Shengzhi, leader of Guomindang Left military forcesChen Yi, Communist from a scholarly family and staff officer of Zhu DeWu Ruolan, Married Zhu De in LeiyangHe Zizhen, Communist cadre known as the “Two-Gunned Girl General”He Zhihua, Mother of Zhu De’s daughterLuo Yinong, Communist leader killed after He Zhihua informed on himSupport the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=DACDMMMEASJVJ)

23mins

15 Dec 2021

Rank #5

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

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 PartyZhou 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 CommunistSun Bingwen, Zhu De’s friend who traveled to Europe and joined the Communist Party with himLi Dazhao, Co-founder of Chinese Communist PartySupport the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=DACDMMMEASJVJ)

21mins

20 Nov 2021

Rank #6

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

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 revolutionYuan Shikai, leader of the Beiyang Army and dictator after the fall of the QingXiong Kewu, Nationalist general turned warlordXiao Jufang, Zhu De’s first wifeZhu Baozhu, Zhu De’s son (later took name Zhu Qi)Chen Yuzhen, Zhu De’s second wifeTang Jiyao, Opium growing Yunnan warlordLei Yongfei, Social bandit in control of part of Sikang provinceSupport the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=DACDMMMEASJVJ)

24mins

2 Nov 2021

Rank #7

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

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 revolutionYuan Shikai, leader of the Beiyang Army and dictator after the fall of the QingXiao Jufang, Zhu De’s first wifeLu Shaozhen, reactionary chief of staff of Yunnan Army’s First DivisionSupport the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=DACDMMMEASJVJ)

20mins

23 Sep 2021

Rank #8

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

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 1927Wang Zuo, Bandit leader who joined with Mao ZedongShi Dakai, Taiping general who fought a campaign in SichuanEmperor Guangxu, Emperor of China who tried to assert his power during Hundred Days Reform only to be thwarted by the Empress Dowager CixiXi Bingan, Zhu De’s teacherEmpress Dowager Cixi, power behind the throne from 1861 to 1908Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=DACDMMMEASJVJ)

27mins

16 Sep 2021

Rank #9

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Engels on Insurrection

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 GermanyLenin, “Advice of an Onlooker”Some names from this episode:Zhang Tailei, leader of the Guangzhou Uprising of December 1927Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=DACDMMMEASJVJ)

24mins

9 Sep 2021

Rank #10