Accidental Holy Land: The Communist Revolution in Northwest China (Paperback)
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Yan'an is China's "revolutionary holy land," the heart of Mao Zedong's Communist movement from 1937 to 1947. Based on thirty years of archival and documentary research and numerous field trips to the region, Joseph W. Esherick's book examines the origins of the Communist revolution in Northwest China, from the political, social, and demographic changes of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), to the intellectual ferment of the early Republic, the guerrilla movement of the 1930s, and the replacement of the local revolutionary leadership after Mao and the Center arrived in 1935. In Accidental Holy Land, Esherick compels us to consider the Chinese Revolution not as some inevitable peasant response to poverty and oppression, but as the contingent product of local, national, and international events in a constantly changing milieu.
About the Author
Joseph W. Esherick is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego. He is author of The Origins of the Boxer Uprising (UC Press), Ancestral Leaves (UC Press), and other works on modern Chinese history. In 2021, Esherick received an award for Distinguished Contributions for China Studies from The World Forum on China Studies.