Interviews with Americans who joined China’s Communist Revolution

Some people, like the missionary/warlord who’s out to kill Kony and rescue child soldiers, lead exceptionally unique and interesting lives. Sidney Rittenberg has next-to-nothing in common with that guy, aside from an incredible life experience: “After the war ended, Rittenberg decided to stay in China and seek out the leaders of the Communist revolution that was raging across the countryside. He traveled to the mountains in Yan’an where the leaders were based, and met with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. They told him they needed a native English speaker to explain their policies to the United States. In helping them, Rittenberg had the sense of fulfilling a historical need. … Rittenberg was connected with the upper echelons of the Communist Party leadership. He has known every major leader in Communist China, including Mao, Zhou Enlai, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. … He witnessed, and took part in, the formation of modern China, and lived all its complexities. He spent a total of 16 years in solitary confinement and was a powerful proponent of the Cultural Revolution before himself falling victim to its chaos. … Rittenberg is now 91 years old… The film “The Revolutionary” was created over a 5-year period … The tagline reads: “Mao’s call for a Cultural Revolution was answered by tens of millions of Chinese… and one American.”” An interview with him is here: Sidney Rittenberg: Reflections on a lifetime in China

He’s not the only American who joined the Communist revolution in China and stayed for decades, however. You can read about another here: Joan Hinton (1921-2010)

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