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Mao Zedong and his three American friends

CPC Encyclopedia

Agnes Smedley: Mao Zedong is 'incomparable'

Mao Zedong and his three American friends

Agnes Smedley was a famous American reporter, writer, social activist, and an outstanding and extraordinary woman. She came to China at the end of 1928 and stayed in China for 12 years. In the early and middle stages of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, she witnessed the brutality of the Japanese aggression in China, Smedley courageously wielded her pen to cry out for justice, she wrote many books themed on China: "China's Red Army Marches" (1934), "Chinese Destinies: Sketches of Present-Day China" (1933), "China Fights Back" (1938) and "Battle Hymn of China" (1943), by which she helped the world to understand the revolutionary struggle in China.

In early January 1937, Smedley paid a visit to Yan'an upon the invitation of the Communist Party of China, during which she interviewed Mao Zedong, Zhu De, Zhou Enlai, Peng Dehuai and others.

Smedley spoke highly of Mao. "Every communist leader but Mao could be compared to a person from other countries or at another era, but Mao is incomparable. His works has become a milestone in China's revolutionary thought." 

With the consent of Zhu De, Smedley started to make preparations for Zhu's biography----"The Great Road: The Life and Times of Chu Teh". In Oct 1937, Smedley arrived at the general headquarters of the Eighth Route Army located in the mountainous area in northern Shanxi, and became the first foreign military reporter of the Eighth Route Army.

Smedley returned to the United States in May of 1941 due to her illness. On May 6, 1950, Smedley died of acute circulatory failure in London at the age of 58. On the same day the following year, a memorial ceremony and a grand funeral were held in memory of her in Beijing. Her ashes were laid to rest at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery in Beijing. [more]

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