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Salisbury and his untold story about the Long March


10-20-2016 12:47 BJT

Full coverage: 80th Anniversary of the Victory of the Red Army's Long March

The Long March: The Untold Story is a must-read on this important chapter in Chinese history. It was written by American journalist Harrison Salisbury. In 1984, about 50 years after the Long March, he took the route himself, to explore the stories that happened along the way.

From the eastern province of Jiangxi to Shaanxi in Northwest China. Harrison Salisbury spent 74 days completing the Red Army's 12,500-km route. He was the first foreign journalist to retrace the entire length of the march. His son said Salisbury already was curious about China when he was a little boy.

"His greatest desire in his career was to follow the footsteps of Chairman Mao and all the great heroes of the Long March and tell the story like it never had been told before. And he knows the (journalist Edgar) Snow who had interviewed Mao in Yanan in the cave there in 1936. So my father had the idea: He wrote letter after letter to every official that he could get his hands on: 'I want to come to China and I want to take the Long March," Stephan Salisbury, son of Harrison Salisbury, said.

For more than a decade, Salisbury made preparations and researched. In April 1984, the reporter finally set off in his 70s, from Yudu -- a major starting point of the Long March in 1934.

Along the route, he interviewed many veteran soldiers, herdsmen, and also visited some leaders and generals.

In an interview after his long march, Salisbury said: "Only, I felt, by traveling those 7,400 miles could I write an accurate account of the Long March. Only so could I convey some small sense of the ordeal of the men and women who made the march."

"Which is truly an epic. It is one of the greatest epics, the Story of the Long March. So I think his lifelong dream seeking to understand and report on China was completely fulfilled," Stephan said.

In 1985, his book "The Long March: The Untold story" was published. Through the book, he showed the world a real image of China.

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