1934, following threats by the Chinese Nationalists to destroy
their village in remote southeastern China, 30 women fled with
Mao Zedong’s Red Army. In what became known as the Long March,
the army and the women trekked 4,000 miles in one year to forge
resistance to Chiang Kai-shek’s repressive regime and to find
new lives for themselves.
10,000 of the original 86,000 soldiers survived. Incredibly, all
30 of the women completed the 4,000-mile journey, with one dying
shortly afterwards. This is their story.
A True Story of War, Love, and Survival, bestselling
author and adventurer Dean King brings to light the little-known
story of 30 courageous women, who endured unbelievable suffering
during the Long March.
survived ambushes and
bombings while grappling with severe hunger and thirst. They
fought lice, fleas, dysentery, typhoid fever and malaria. They
crossed frigid 15,000-foot mountains in cotton clothes and straw
sandals. They watched in horror as friends were sucked into inky
marshes. Some lost their husbands in battles en route, and some
gave birth to babies that had to be abandoned along the trails.
The women not
only formed a lasting bond but, after the eventual defeat of the
Nationalists, rose to positions of power and prominence in
government, industry, the military, education, social welfare,
and the arts. Several of them became leaders in the All-China
Women’s Federation (ACWF), the nation’s most influential voice
for women’s rights.
A True Story of War, Love, and Survival
Hardcover 432 pages
Pub date: March 24, 2010
Publisher Little Brown
five years retracing their trek and interviewing survivors and
historians to offer a very human account of an event that has
loomed large in Chinese history.
photographs enhance the chronicling of this
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Dean King
is an award-winning author of nonfiction books. A former
contributing editor to Men’s Journal, King has written
for National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Esquire, Travel +
Leisure, New York, and the New York Times, among
other publications. His books include the bestselling
Skeletons on the Zahara, which was the basis of a two-hour
History Channel special documentary and is currently being
developed as a feature film by Independent Films (London),
and the highly acclaimed Patrick O’Brian companion
books A Sea of Words (1995), Harbors and High Seas
(1996), and Every Man Will Do His Duty (1997). His
biography Patrick O’Brian: A Life Revealed (2000) was a
Daily Telegraph book of the year.
"A terrific feminist story and a significant
document of this incredible human feat."
"Fascinating....King, the best-selling author of
Skeletons on the Zahara, has done brilliant work bringing
the march to life with a plethora of vivid, well-researched
details...Unbound is an authoritative account of the Long
March, but its evocations of the marchers' experiences will
linger long after the historical details slip from readers'
"King gets to the heart of one of history's
greatest adventures. He captures the blood, guts and occasional
glory of the Chinese Revolution. This is a remarkable tale, by
turns thrilling, inspiring and heartbreaking."
co-author of The Long
“King spent five years traveling the length of
the Long March, interviewing those women still alive to tell
their tales. Theirs are stories of courage, remarkable not only
because of the physical and psychological rigors of their
journey, but also because of their determination... China has
always been a mysterious and secretive empire, but Unbound
peels back the curtain to reveal a story of strength and
John T. Slania,
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