The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution

“Isaacs’ book represents a scientific work from beginning to end. It is based on a conscientious study of a vast number of original sources and supplementary material.… The author of this book tries to deduce the character of the Chinese Revolution not from a priori definitions and not from historical analogies, but from the living structure of Chinese society and from the dynamics of its inner forces.… The reader will carry away not only a better-knit picture of the march of events but—what is more important—will learn to understand their social mainsprings.”
—From the Introduction by Leon Trotsky

The story of contemporary China typically dates back to Mao’s 1949 revolution. But in this classic work, historian Harold R. Isaacs uncovers how workers and peasants struggled for a different kind of revolution, one built from the bottom up, in the 1920s. The defeat of their heroic efforts profoundly shaped the further course of modern Chinese history.

About the author

Harold R. Isaacs was a writer and long-time student of Chinese affairs. The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution, his first book, was based largely on long hidden original historical documents and has been recognized for many years as preserving the historical truth that would otherwise have been erased by the revolution’s betrayers. Isaacs’s loyalty was not to a party or ideology but to the “martyrs” to whom he dedicated his work and the millions who fought for a more just and humane Chinese society.