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  Sun Shuyun on China's Long March 21 Mar 2006  
The Long March is the founding legend of the People's Republic of China. This year is the 70th anniversary of the end of the March, in which as many as 200,000 Communist men and women left home, perhaps never to return, and marched up to 8,000 miles.

They crossed lofty mountain ranges, vast swampy grasslands and broad raging rivers. For two years they were relentlessly pursued by the nationalist forces of Chiang Kaishek but the March eventually inspired a civil war that put the Communists, and Mao Zedong in power.

Chinese historian and writer Sun Shuyun spent a year tracing the marchers' footsteps, and meeting 40 or so of the remaining 500 survivors. She discovered that the Long March was not quite as Chairman Mao had painted it, and describes her findings in her new book, The Long March.

The Long March, published by Harper Collins (13 March) ISBN 0-00-719479-X 
 
 
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