Through a stunning array of photographs, China captures the country today by revisiting one of the most legendary military routes. When the Red Army began a retreat across China in October 1934, the future of the Communist uprising looked bleak. But what began as certain defeat was transformed into a galvanizing journey, setting the stage for the creation of the People’s Republic of China. From an international team of photographers dispatched in 2011 along that same route—from Jiangxi in the southeast to Gansu and Shaanxi in the Northwest—the breathtaking images they brought back reveal a land and people that have undergone monumental change over the last 75 years.
Villages have become cities; dirt tracks, superhighways; and everywhere the buzz of industry and commerce fills the air. Bearing witness to the change have been the people, whose faces wear a deep feeling of pride, determination, and perseverance—the same spirit that turned the Long March from a disaster into a triumph.
For two years from 1934–1936, the Red Army, under the leadership of Mao Zedong, retreated across the wilds of China, battling nationalist forces and struggling to stay alive under impossibly harsh conditions. They trekked across mountains, snowfields, bogs, and deserts—places that today have been completely transformed. With photographs by a group of celebrated photographers, along with maps, timelines, and historical images and artwork, China provides an insightful and wholly original retelling of one of the most significant events in Chinese history.