Reporting the Chinese Revolution

Reporting the Chinese Revolution : The Letters of Rayna Prohme

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Rayna and her husband Bill edited the Kuomintang's English-language newspaper in Wuhan. Rayna's account of her intimate involvement in the Chinese Revolution brings to life the eventful Wuhan years of 1926-27, which shaped the revolution's course. Her letters illuminate from a personal angle the battle for China's future and include remarkable portraits of some of the people who shaped the Communist and Nationalist movements of the time.

The book consists of letters Prohme wrote to her closest friend and her husband in the period immediately before, during and after the Wuhan interlude. Her reporting brought her into contact with many major political figures including Madam Sun Yat-sen (a prominent figure in the opposition to Chiang Kai-shek) and Mikhail Borodin (a chief Soviet advisor in China).

This book provides an unusual and often moving insight into a fascinating period in modern Chinese history.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 216 pages
  • 137.16 x 218.44 x 22.86mm | 362.87g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745326420
  • 9780745326429

Table of contents


Note on Transliteration

Dramatis Personae

Introduction by Gregor Benton

1. Rayna's Wake

2. The Road to China

3. Peking and Canton

4. Hankow

5. Shanghai

6. Vladivostok to Moscow

7. Moscow

8. Afterword

9. Appendices


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Review quote

Rayna Prohme's letters wonderfully convey the excitement of the Nationalist Revolution of 1926-27. A woman of passion and conviction, Prohme threw herself into the revolution' -- S. A. Smith, Professor of History, University of Essex, and author of A Road is Made: Communism in Shanghai, 1920-1927 'This collection of her letters evokes a lost world of revolution, intrigue and uncertainty. Despite the difficulties and dangers through which Rayna Prohme was living, she remains courageous, humorous and full of fun' -- Delia Davin, Emeritus Professor of Chinese Studies, University of Leeds 'This is a wonderful evocation of a fascinating, yet largely forgotten, time at the very beginning of the Chinese revolution' -- A. Tom Grunfeld, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Empire State College, State University of New York
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About Arthur J. Knodel

Baruch Hirson was a prominent activist in South Africa for many years before his imprisonment in 1964. On his release in 1973 he emigrated to Britain, where he taught at Bradford and Middlesex Universities. He was the co-author of Reporting the Chinese Revolution (Pluto, 2007). Arthur J. Knodel was a distinguished scholar at the University of Southern California, best known for his translations and criticism of Nobel Prize-winning poet Saint-John Perse. Knodel died in 2001. Gregor Benton is Emeritus Professor at the School of History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff University.
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