From award-winning children s author Jean Fritz comes the incredible true account of the Long March, a six-thousand-mile journey across China
In 1986, Jean Fritz went to China and talked to survivors of the Long March. It is from their recollections and her own broad, personal knowledge of Chinese history that Fritz has written one of the most compelling accounts of the incredible six-thousand-mile journey across China made by the Communist Army in 1934 and 1935.
Fritz takes us on the route of the sixty-mile-long First Front Army, the unit of Mao Zedong that wound its way through a terrain so perilous it was often more threatening than their battles with the enemy. The fear of a young soldier on Old Mountain afraid to go to sleep in case he might roll over and fall off the cliff is real to us; the drama and devastation that reduced the Red Army to twenty thousand men and women are immediate. And when the army crosses the thundering Dadu River on the threadbare remains of a bridge, we cross our fingers and hope to make it, too.
Skillfully placing events within the context of history, Fritz allows us to view them with the perspective of time, and, as she shares the memories of those she talked with, she brings humanness and intimacy to the participants and their unforgettable journey.
Jean Fritz, the recipient of a National Humanities Medal, lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York.<p> Sally Wern Comport lives in Annapolis, Maryland.