Known in China, little known beyond (4) - Anna Louise Strong 安娜·路易斯·斯特朗
𝘐𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳’𝘴 𝘊𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘯𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘵 𝘗𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘢, 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭-𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘢 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘳 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘺 𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥-𝘶𝘱 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘺 (1921) 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘗𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦’𝘴 𝘙𝘦𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘤 𝘰𝘧 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘢 (1949) 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬𝘭𝘺 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘴 “𝘒𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘊𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘢, 𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘣𝘦𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘥”
"All reactionaries are paper tigers", the famous saying by late Chaiman Mao Zedong was first said in an interview (1946) with American journalist and writer 𝗔𝗻𝗻𝗮 𝗟𝗼𝘂𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗴 安娜·路易斯·斯特朗 (1885-1970). Born in Nebraska in a family of middle class liberals active in missionary work, the political activist and journalist Anna Strong grew up in different places in the United States and graduated with a PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1908.
Being convinced that capitalism was responsible for poverty and sufferings of the working class, she initially worked at the US Education Office, being an advocate for child welfare. In 1916, she ran for the Seattle School Board and won easily, becoming the only female board member. She opposed to WWI and was recalled from her position in 1918.
As a result she went elsewhere in search for “socialism in practice” and ended up in the Soviet Union where she lived significant periods of time from 1921-1940 as a writer and journalist. She regularly returned to the USA giving lectures on socialism.
In 1925 and 1927, she traveled to China and became friends with Soong Ching-Ling and Zhou Enlai and kept on writing books. In 1930 she founded the Moscow News, the first English language newspaper in Moscow and married Russian national Joel Shubin the year after until his death in 1942.
During WII she became suspicious for the USSR because of her pro-Chinese Communist sympathies, fostered by her visits to China and interview with Chairman Mao Zedong in 1946. She was cut off from the USSR and as well denied a passport by the US government in the 1950’s (the hype of McCarthyism) and lived in California.
In 1958 her passport was restored and she immediately returned to China at the age of 73 where she lived until her death. She maintained close relationships with both Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai until her death 12 years later with regular interviews and meetings.
She kept on writing about her dedication to the ‘Marxist doctrine’ and published a monthly paper “Letter from China”. Strong died in Beijing on March 29, 1970 and is buried on the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery. Leaving a legacy of more than 30 books.
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