Red at heart : how Chinese communists fell in love with the Russian Revolution

McGuire, Elizabeth, author

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Creator Elizabeth McGuire
  • Format Books
  • Publication New York, NY, United States of America : Oxford University Press, [2018] ©2018
  • Physical Details
    • viii, 462 pages : illustrations, map ; 24 cm
  • ISBNs 9780190640552, 0190640553, 9780190640569, 9780190640576
  • OCLC ocn975270310


  • "Beginning in the 1920s thousands of Chinese revolutionaries set out for Soviet Russia. Once there, they studied Russian language and experienced Soviet communism, but many also fell in love, got married, or had children. In this they were similar to other people from all over the world who were enchanted by the Russian Revolution and lured to Moscow by it. The Chinese who traveled to live and study in Moscow in a steady stream over the course of decades were a key human interface between the two revolutions, and their stories show the emotional investment backing ideological, economic, and political change. After the Revolution, the Chinese went home, fought a war, and then, in the 1950s, carried out a revolution that was and still is the Soviet Union's most geopolitically significant legacy. They also sent their children to study in Moscow and passed on their affinities to millions of Chinese, who read Russia's novels, watched its movies, and learned its songs. If the Chinese eventually helped to lead a revolution that resembled Russia's in remarkable ways, it was not only because class struggle intensified in China, or because Bolsheviks arrived in China to ensure that it did. It was also because as young people, they had been captivated by the potential of the Russian Revolution to help them to become new people and to create a new China. Elizabeth McGuire presents an alternate narrative on the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s by looking back to before the split to show how these two giant nations got together. And she does so on a very personal level by examining biographies of the people who experienced Sino-Soviet affairs most intimately: Chinese revolutionaries whose emotional worlds were profoundly affected by connections to Russia's people and culture"--


  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 381-435) and index.


  • Prologue. At Vova's -- Introduction : Serious romance -- Part I. First encounters, circa 1921. Emi's adventures : Changsha-Paris-Moscow -- Qu's quest : Tolstoy and the Trans-Siberian journey -- New youth, new Russians -- Part II. School crushes, 1920s. School dramas -- Shanghai University and the Comintern curriculum -- A crush on Russia : Qu's female protégés -- Chiang Kaishek's son in red wonderland -- Heartbreak : the demise of Qu -- Part III. Love affairs, 1930s-1940s. Kolia the Chinese -- Liza/Li : the agitator and the aristocrat -- Emi/Eva : the love affairs of a Sino-Soviet poet -- The legend of He Zizhen, Mao's wife in Moscow -- Sino-Soviet love children -- Part IV. Families, 1950s. Male metaphors -- Wang, Dasha, and Nastya : Russian romance redux -- Legitimate offspring : Chinese students in 1950s Moscow -- Female families : Liza's home, Eva's adventures -- Part V. Last kisses, 1960s and beyond. The split within : Sino-Soviet families under pressure -- Defiant romantics : ironies of cultural revolution -- Nostalgia : Wang's search -- Epilogue. At Yura's
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