About the talk:

Yan’an is now revered as China’s “revolutionary holy land” and the heart of the Chinese Communist Party's rise to power. This talk will explore the origins of the Communist revolution in China and the forces that led to Mao Zedong's ascent. The product of thirty years of archival and documentary research and numerous fieldwork trips to the region, the book on which this talk is based examines the complex relationship between local, national, and international conditions, the role of “accidental” factors in history, and most fundamentally, the process whereby the Chinese Communist Party came to power.

The talk will be followed by a light reception and book signing with the author.

About the Speaker: 

Joseph Esherick is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author or editor of numerous books on modern China, including The Origins of the Boxer Uprising (1987), Ancestral Leaves: A Family Journey Through Chinese History (2011), and most recently, Accidental Holy Land: The Communist Revolution in Northwest China, which was published by University of California Press in 2022. In 2021, he received an award for "Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Studies" from the World Forum on China Studies.


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