Generally, histories of China's Long March (1934-35) detail the men who participated. This treatise focuses on 30 amazing women and profiles three in-depth: He Zizhen, Mao's second wife; Kan Keqing, called Girl Commander; and Wang Quanyuan, a peasant. The authors, Australian China scholars, include a detailed appendix on each of the 30 women and explanatory prologs. The moving chronology reveals that a good number of the women were sold by their parents; even sadder, many were said to have had numerous babies who were abandoned. Other small but telling details include how they each would elaborately describe delicious foods-spirit food-when food was scarce and how those who had bound feet removed the bindings but walked with great difficulty. Nothing was beyond these courageous women; some are still alive. Stephanie Daniel's skillful presentation and wonderful accent enhance this important work; for large libraries and all Asia collections.
Susan G. Baird