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Recommended Reading 1
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Black Tie International - Recommended Reading

UNBOUND, Dean King


Adventurer tells story of the 30 women who survived Mao’s Long March



 In 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.


Fewer than 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.


In UNBOUND: 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.


They 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

Dean King


List $25.99

Hardcover 432 pages

ISBN: 978-0-316-16708-6

Pub date: March 24, 2010

Publisher Little Brown


King spent 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.


Maps and photographs enhance the chronicling of this
 extraordinary story.


About the Author


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.


What People Are Saying


"A terrific feminist story and a significant document of this incredible human feat."

Kirkus Reviews

"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' memories."

Doug Childers, The Richmond Times-Dispatch

"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."

Ed Jocelyn, co-author of The Long March

“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 survival."

John T. Slania, Bookpage

See the trailer at:




Dean King’s website is



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