Sunday, May 28, 2023

Two books that we support

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Dear Comrades,

This month we are excited to release two new, important texts in our Tales From the Front collection.

First, Anna Louise Strong’s, The First Time in History, offers a firsthand account of life in Soviet Russia during a critical period of its history, from 1921 to 1923. Strong, a journalist who was politicized by the political upheavals in her time, such as the Everett Massacre and the Seattle General strike, was invited to the USSR to document the work of building the world’s first socialist State. Her work of political journalism in to this end offers keen observations and insights that provide a vivid and nuanced portrayal of the social, economic, and political changes that took place during this pivotal time.

The second books is Hundred Day War, by William Hinton. With unprecedented access to firsthand accounts, Hinton tells the story of the intense struggle of Red Guard factions at Qinghua University during the Cultural Revolution, which eventually led to students building their own cannons and tanks to engage in armed conflict. These events were a direct result of the line struggle that was being waged at the top levels of the CPC. They demonstrate the lengths to which the Right and ultra-Left went to manipulate the people and the enormity of the Left’s determination to resolve the factional antagonisms in order to remake one of China’s most high-ranking universities into a people’s university, tasked with educating and training the next generation of proletarian intellectuals.
Both of these books are written with documentary-style reporting on the exciting, messy, intense work of building a socialist society. Far from an idealized portrayal of some utopian revolutionary outcome, these two authors bring the day-to-day struggles—the joyous, astonishing victories and the devastating, heartbreaking defeats—to life with their vivid storytelling. In these pages are lessons we are required to learn if we are to really grapple with the notion of taking power and governing for the people. We hope you find these texts as important and enlightening as we believe them to be.

In solidarity,

Foreign Languages Press


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