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3rd October – Newsnotes for July / August 2017

Assessing May’s failure in the snap election she chose to call.

12th September

31st August.

Just published, Problems 30.  And Problems 26 & 27 are now on-line.

Problems 30: Jews as ‘Collateral Damage’ in the Fall of the British Empire.  Part Two: The 13th Chancellor (summary only)

Available on-line – Khrushchev Had a Little-Known Trotskyist Past.

Problems 26Smedley: an American Woman Who Loved China’s Red Army

  • How Agnes Smedley found a life’s purpose in China
  • Her connection with super-spy Richard Sorge
  • Her account of the little-known Red Areas in South China
  • The surprising neglect of her work by later writers
  • How she told a genuinely unknown and potentially damaging story about Mao
  • The cowboy scholarship of ‘Wild Swan’ Chang and ‘Doc’ Halliday.
  • Her account of the ‘A.B. Group’, an early split within the Red Army
  • The Chinese Social Democrats’ efforts to created a functional Third Force

Also available as a PDF, Problems 26 Smedley and China’s Red Army

Problems 27China: Agnes Smedley’s Battle Hymn Against Japan

  • Smedley as Stranger In Her Own Land
  • Chinese Trotskyism
  • The little-known Trotskyist influence on Khrushchev
  • Witness at Xian – and Loose Cannon at Xian
  • A Failed Sexual Revolution at Yenan
  • Singing a Battle Hymn of China
  • Persecution by the Ignorant and Powerful
  • Death and Unjust Neglect

Also available as a PDF, Problems 27 – Smedley in the Sino-Japanese War

27th July – Just published, Problems 29.  And Problems 25 now on-line.

Problems 29: Jews as ‘Collateral Damage’ in the Fall of the British Empire. Part One: Britain’s Exterminating Sea Empire (summary only)

Problems 25China: Blue Ants and Dangerous Reds

  • Writing in 1950s, a French writer has no doubt that Mao’s new China is efficient, clean and orderly.  He dislikes the loss of what he sees as the romance of Old China, while not denying the suffering.
  • He also says “”China has therefore been Westernised for a second time, more completely than the first.  China is no longer Asiatic.  At most she will be Eurasian”.
  • The article next studies what the same writer had said earlier.  And then a bizarre US science fiction novel that shows the ignorance and prejudice about China at the time.
  • Finally it looks at the Yangtze Incident of 1949, and how it ended a century of Western intrusion into China’s rivers.

16th June – Newsnotes for April now on-line

24th May

Awed by the Amazing Twentieth?  Is it unreasonable to ask people getting more than £80,000 a year to pay more tax?

5th May

Newsnotes for March 2017.

25th April

7th February

  • Degraded Globalisation.  How the 1980s saw increasing inequality in the West.  But also a fast rise by China, which resisted Neo-Liberal ideas.
  • Newsnotes for November available.

14th January 2017

Added full on-line text of Problems 24 – China 1949: Fixing a Broken Society.

  • The West’s false understanding of ‘Normal Politics’.
  • How the Kuomintang failed to develop anything much during their period of rule. How they failed to confront Global Imperialism, and then were very slow to resist Japan’s expansion into Chinese territory.
  • An interesting account of the first years after 1949, by a Christian missionary who stayed in China when most Westerners left or were expelled.
  • How Edgar Snow was well aware of the crisis after the Great Leap Forward, but noted the unusual weather and did not class it as a famine.

6th November

Did a big catch-up for Newsnotes.  October to December 2015, and March to September 2016.  Brexit, Corbyn and the British Labour Party, Tory policies, Turkish coup and much else covered.

13th October – Newly Available On-Line:

Problems 23 – China: Nurturing Red Stars

  • Why it become the job of the Chinese Communist Party to complete the necessary nationalist revolution that the Kuomintang had backed away from in 1927.
  • The unexpected role of Madam Sun (Soong Ching-ling) in publicising and strengthening Mao Zedong via Edgar Snow’s Red Star Over China.
  • Full article, available online.
  • Also available as aPDF, Problems 23 – Nurturing Red Stars

9th August – available on-line: Problems 22China’s Blue Republic, 1912-49.

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One comment

  1. The current list of articles on Tibet did not deal much of Bon, the shamanistic “religion” that was dominant before Princess Wenchang came along. And more importantly, the voodoo like assimilation of Bon deities/demons (wraithful deities aka demons) into what would become known as Tibetan Buddhism. Your list of topics is also lacking coverage of sexual practices among the Lamas and how once when they were dominant during the late Mongol period, they would go around deflowering brides on the first time of marriage…

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