Far Eastern Reporter – US/China solidarity magazine



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Far East Reporter

From 1952 until her death at the age of 96 in 1989, Maud Russell published a magazine in New York City called the Far East Reporter. Actually, this was more like a long series of pamphlets, most of which were about revolutionary China in the Mao era. Some of them were written by Maud Russell herself, and others were written by different people, sometimes famous personalities. Many of these pamphlets remain of considerable interest today, though they are now increasingly difficult to find.

A predecessor publication to the Far East Reporter was the Far East Spotlight, published from about 1945 into the early 1950s by the Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy, whose executive director was Maud Russell.

[The introduction, the description of the contents of the pamphlets as well as the scanning of the pdfs themselves are all the work of the comrades at bannedthought, to whom we offer our thanks.]



The Kampuchean struggle for national survival: pertinent historical and current facts about Vietnam’s presence in Kampuchea, Thiounn Mumm, June 1983, 38 pages.


Historical perspective: China and the Olympics, Phillip K. Shinnick, 32 pages, August 1978.

Answers to some question about cancer, mental illness, the handicapped, schistosomiasis, family planning, venereal disease and the application of the mass line in the People’s Republic of China, Han Suyin, Li Ping, a report by the American Cancer Society, Carl Ratner, Victor and Ruth Sidel, Julian Schuman and Dan Schwartz. 48 pages, February 1978.


The mass line in the Chinese Revolution, Dr. Boon-Ngee Cham, 39 pages, August 1976.

Some observations on law in China, including: ‘Criminal justice in China’, George W. Crockett, Jr., and ‘People’s Courts in China’, Maud Russell. June 1976, 39 pages.

Back home in China, Lee Yu-Hwa, 24 pages, April 1976.

What about workers in China?, Janet Goldwasser, Stuart Dowty and Maud Russell, including a reissue of ‘Chinese factories are exciting places’ by Goldwasser and Dowty. 36 pages, January 1976.


What about religion in China? Some answers for American Christians, Maud Russell, 25 pages, n.d. (but probably from 1975).

Taiwan prospect: does the United States want to get out?, Hugh Deane and Maud Russell, 32 pages, October 1975.

Marxism and the Cultural Revolution in China: a new kind of Revolution, Ruth Gamberg, 47 pages, March 1975.


The making of the New Human Being in the People’s Republic of China, three articles by Dr. K. T. Fann, 48 pages, September 1974.

Chinese traditional medicine, conversations and observations by Rewi Alley and an old Chinese doctor, 24 pages, May 1974.

Building a Socialist educational system in China, includes 3 articles: ‘China’s Cultural Revolution in education’, by Rewi Alley; ‘Observations of an American Educational Consultant’, by Annie Stein; and, ‘The ongoing building of China’s Socialist Educational System’ (Hsinhua). 64 pages, February 1974.


The New Human Being in the People’s Republic of China, includes 3 small articles: ‘Free to be human’, by Felix Greene; ‘Psychiatric treatment’, by Leigh Kagan; and, ‘Living together in a community’, by Lucilee Stewart Poo. 24 pages, April 1973.

Chinese factories are exciting places!, by Janet Goldwasser and Stuart Dowty, 24 pages, February 1973.


The ‘Why?’ of Nixon’s trip to China, by Maud Russell. Includes the joint Chinese/U.S. communiqué of Feb. 27, 1972. Published c. July 1972, 64 pages.

Hand and brain in China, and other essays, a reprint of an Anglo-Chinese Educational Institute pamphlet which includes: ‘Hand and brain in China’, by Joseph Needham; ‘China’s economic policy’, by Joan Robinson; ‘The Open Door’, by Edgar Snow; and ‘China and the hungry world’, by Tim Raper. May 1972, 44 pages.


Oceania – an outline for study, by Rewi Alley, 2nd edition, 82 pages. This pamphlet was independently published in New Zealand and was then also distributed to Far Eastern Reporter subscribers.

The People’s Republic of China approach to history’s heritage: of territorial and border aggressions and to current Revolutionary Movements, by Neville Maxwell, 16 pages, October 1971.

Ping pong serves! first-hand returns, quotes from reporters and visitors, 40 pages, August 1971.

An American soldier changes worlds: life in China of an ex-prisoner of war, 9 pages, May 1971.

The People’s Republic of China: On becoming 21 – Socialist World Power, by Maud Russell, March 1971, 40 pages.

China’s centuries of contributions to world science and technology, two articles by Joseph Needham and Maud Russell, 24 pages, January 1971.


The liberation process for Japanese women, a book review by Maud Russell, 16 pages, Nov. 1970.

Education: a critique from China – pedagogical theory: bourgeois or Socialist?, 25 pages, July 1970.

Chinese women: liberated, by Maud Russell, 40 pages. n.d., but probably from around March 1970.

Revolution promotes production, by Maud Russell, n.d. (but probably from around March 1970), 24 pages.


The Sino-Soviet Ussuri River border clash, by Maud Russell, 24 pages, n.d. (but appears to be from around April 1969).

United States Neo-Colonialism – grave digger in Asia, by Maud Russell, n.d. (but appears to be from around March 1969), 36 pages.

The rising National Liberation struggles of the peoples in a key area of Southeast Asia: coming events cast their shadows!, by Maud Russell, n.d. (but from early 1969), 28 pages.


The ongoing Cultural Revolution in China, by Maud Russell, 28 pages, n.d. (but appears to be from around October 1968).


China’s genuine democracy, including: ‘Among the communes of Mao Tien, by Rewi Alley and ‘Mass democracy in China’, by Israel Epstein. n.d. (but probably from 1967 or perhaps 1968), 20 pages.

China’s Socialism or India’s Neo-Colonialism: a development race and its outcome, by Curtis Ullerich, 16 pages, n.d. (but probably from late 1967).

The Great Proletarian Revolution and China’s economic health, by Maud Russell, n.d. (but from around August 1967), 32 pages.

The making of New Man: How the thinking of Mao Tse-tung helps a man look at himself and change himself, by Tuan Ping-li, 16 pages, April 1967.

Some background on China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, by Maud Russell, March 1967, 40 pages.

Chinese traditional medicine: an observation on acupuncture – a practitioner’s view, by Felix Mann, 16 pages, January 1967.


Traditional medicine in Communist China: science, communism and cultural nationalism, by Ralph C. Croizier, 32 pages, n.d. (but probably 1966 or perhaps 1967).

The influence of the Thought of Mao Tse-tung, by Rewi Alley, n.d. (but probably from 1966), 16 pages.

Mass-line leaders and leadership in rural China, Chapter XVIII of the first years of Yangyi Commune by Isabel and David Crook, October 1966, 25 pages.

The process of urban and rural economy in China, includes ‘The role of the People’s Communes’ by Shirley Wood and ‘Self Reliance’ by David Crook, n.d. (but March 1966), 16 pages.

Seeing is believing, by an American POW in China, 12 pages, n.d. (but February 1966).


The past in China’s present: a cultural, social, and philosophical background for contemporary China, by Joseph Needham, 40 pages, October 1965.

In Southeast Asia Today: The United States, Vietnam, China, Four Poems by Rewi Alley, 8 pages, September 1965.

Some observations on education, trade and the political process in China, by Dr. C. H. Geoffrey Oldham, J. Russell Love, and Anna Louise Strong. June 1965, 32 pages.

Some background on United States in Southeast Asia – Maphilindo, an article by Jose Maria Sison about the ‘Maphilindo concept, 8 pages, April 1965.

Letters from Friends in China, 20 pages, March 1965.


Asians speak out on United States ‘Aid’ policy and programs, includes ‘US aid to Pakistan: an evaluation’, by Hamza Alavi, and ‘Why Cambodia rejected aid’, by Han Suyin. 20 pages, June 1964.

China speaks for herself: in interviews granted by Prime Minister Chou En-Lai to British, American, Pakistani and Japanese Newsmen, 20 pages, April 1964.


Some facts about today’s Tibet, excerpts from ‘The truth about Tibet’, by Stuart and Roma Gelder, n.d. (but probably from late 1963), 16 pages.

China 1963 – food – medicine – People’s Communes, as seen by Rewi Alley, Dr. Wilder Penfield, David Crook and Anna Louise Strong, 36 pages, 1963.

The China-India conflict, 50 pages, n.d. (but almost certainly from early 1963).


China facts for American readers: correcting popular tales, by Israel Epstein, Felix Greene and Rewy Alley, 20 pages, n.d. (probably 1962).


Medicine and public health in the People’s Republic of China, by Maud Russell, 28 pages, n.d. (probably 1961).

China’s path to her new society, unsigned article, 17 pages, June 1961.

What about Christians in China? – the YWCA, as reported by a Canadian YWCA visitor, 20 pages, n.d. (probably 1961).

How the Chinese are conquering the food problem: letters from China, 22 pages, c. March 1961.


Why do Chinese ‘refugees’ ‘escape’ to Hong Kong?, including ‘Is this a valid question?’, by Maud Russell, and ‘The letter Life would not print’, by Anna Louise Strong. 15 pages, n.d. (but probably from March or April 1960).

China … and India? and Indonesia? and Burma?, by Maud Russell, 65 pages, n.d. (but probably 1960).


New people in New China: some personal glimpses of people in China”, by Maud Russell, 51 pages, n.d. (but probably 1959).

We build the Ming Tombs Dam, by Israel Epstein, 12 pages, n.d. (but very likely from 1959).


Letters from China, from a variety of citizens and visitors, ed. by Maud Russell, 66 pages, n.d. (probably 1956).

China ‘Uncivilized’? Millenniums of achievement and contributions to the West, by Maud Russell, 22 pages, n.d. (probably 1956).

China News – how such News’ is made, by Julian Schuman, excerpts from his book Assignment China, 24 pages, n.d. (probably 1956).


Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, adopted September 20, 1954, 36 pages, n.d. (but likely from 1955).

Far East Spotlight

Volume VI

1 – April-May, 1950: Focusing on the recent Chinese-Soviet Treaty, 28 pages.

National Council of American-Soviet Friendship


American Policy in Asia, a talk presented by Maud Russell at an Educational Conference in New York City, October 27, 1951, 7 pages.

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1st May – May Day – International Workers’ Day

Workers of the World - Unite! - May Day 1920

Workers of the World – Unite! – May Day 1920

More on the ‘Revolutionary Year’

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1st May – May Day – International Workers’ Day

May Day, the first of May, has been the ‘official’ International Workers’ Day since 1891 when the Second International, the successor to the International Working Men’s Association (women, for some reason unknown to me, were not considered in those early days of conscious and organised socialism and in the establishment of one of its most important organisations) – which came to be known as the First International – following the outbreak and rage at the events that followed the meeting of striking workers in Chicago, USA, on May 4th 1886.

Organised labour in the United States had set the date of May 1st 1886 for the gaining of an ‘Eight hour day without any cut in pay’. This followed similar movements that had developed in Europe. The movement began as early as 1817, after the coining of the slogan ‘Eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest’ in Britain, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. This was emulated in other European, industrialised countries and became an official demand of the First International soon after its formation.

When the employers refused to cede such an improvement of working conditions thousands of workers throughout the United States went on strike. In Chicago the workers were particularly well organised. By the latter part of the 19th century the city had become one of the most important in the USA (especially after the Union victory in the Civil War) as it was not only an important transport hub linking all parts of the country but also a growing industrial centre due to the advantages these links to the rest of the country offered burgeoning American capitalism. On top of this it was the stockyards, receiving, slaughtering and processing millions of cattle from the western plains, that virtually fed the country.

These conditions created the environment for a strong trade union movement which grew in reaction to the dire conditions which always reign in rapid capitalist expansion – the stockyards, especially, being as unpleasant for the workers as they were for the animals.

A series of meetings, rallies and demonstrations were organised in the days following May 1st as the workers stepped up their pressure on the employers. On the Tuesday 4th, a peaceful meeting had been taking place for some time when massed police ranks arrived and demanded that the speakers ‘desist’ and the crowd ‘disperse’. Immediately after that demand a bomb was thrown at the advancing police and seven died either there or of their wounds. Gunfire broke out, 4 demonstrators were killed, dozens wounded and about 60 police suffered from gunshot wounds of varying degrees – mainly, it was commonly accepted, from the erratic firing of fellow officers.

Who actually threw the bomb and why was never proved beyond doubt. However, what was certain was that it was the organised workers who were tried, 4 of them eventually being strangled on the gallows – they didn’t ‘hang’, by accident or design, as they didn’t fall so as to break their necks. What was also certain was the anti-red, anti-trade union purge that followed as well as a concerted press campaign to vilify the workers and promote the police as innocent victims of dangerous, out of control, anarchists. This is a circumstance that has been repeated innumerable times in the years since, in all parts of the globe.

Conspiracy trials go against even the bourgeois legal tenet of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ as the burden of proof is laid at the feet of the accused, not the accusers. In the heightened environment that often surrounds such trials the chances of the accused being found not guilty is remote and for thinking individuals the whole affair is seen as a stitch-up and a gross miscarriage of justice – in Britain it’s sufficient to mention the case of the Tolpuddle Martyrs (farm workers transported to Australia for forming a union in 1834) and the Shrewsbury 24 (tried and convicted of conspiracy, although the way the media presented it they were guilty of using and threatening violence, after the 1972 building workers strike).

Demonstrations and strikes on May Day became the focal point for struggles throughout the world as the working class started to stand up for its rights and the red banner of communism flew over more and more streets – for the truth of any society is that whoever rules the streets rules the country.

With the victory of the first workers’ and peasants’ revolution in Russia, which became the Soviet Union, May Day took on an even greater importance. Each year as the workers and peasants marched through Red Square when they took a break away from the collectivisation and industrialisation of one sixth of the worlds’ land mass, they were throwing down a challenge to the workers in the rest of the world – do you want to live in freedom or remain under the yoke of capitalism?

After the victory of the revolution in what became the Peoples’ Republic of China in 1949 the May Day holiday became one of the major public holidays in the country. This remained until just a few years ago (even after the restoration of capitalism under the ‘running dog and capitalist roader’ Deng Tsiao Ping who had led a successful counter-revolution and managed to fool the population that for individuals ‘to get rich’ was the best way forward for the country and the people). The result might be that, on paper, the country is becoming richer but that is only because more and more of the wealth of the country is in the hands and under the control of a small number of billionaires with the consequence that hundreds of millions find their conditions of life getting worse day by day. Until May Day yet again becomes a rallying point for the Chinese people they will only see the situation of the vast majority of the population becoming worse.

In capitalist countries strikes and demonstrations on, or around, May 1st were an indication of the success and effectiveness of trade unions and other working class organisations. It’s a truism that the level of international solidarity depends upon the determination and ability to fight for local advances in conditions or against attacks on workers’ rights by home-grown capitalists.

Solidarity with struggles of other workers throughout the world was at its height, in Liverpool, in the 1970s when organised labour was fighting throughout the area on issues as diverse as: shorter working hours; against factory closures – which included many occupations, takeovers and sit-ins; welfare benefit rights; rent strikes; supporting struggles to maintain the gains under the welfare state in health and education, to mention just a few. Unfortunately, for reasons of lack of leadership and lack of clarity of thinking on behalf of the workers, most of these issues were defensive and we live with the failure to go on the attack and fight for a socialist future that has led us into the situation we now find ourselves.

It was in this highly charged political environment that international solidarity found fertile ground. The flag of the Vietnamese National Liberation Front flew over the streets of Liverpool as opposition to American aggression in Indochina grew stronger and louder. The May Day of 1975 was a special affair. Coming the day after the liberation forces’ tanks had crashed through the presidential palace and the lackeys, hangers-on, whores and spivs had fought to get out on the last helicopters to leave from the roof of the American Embassy – the machines to be later pushed off the aircraft carriers of the ‘mightiest nation on the planet’ into the South China Sea – that May Day demonstration was both a celebration of a shared victory and a declaration of intent on other fronts.

Support for the struggle of the African people against the racist and apartheid regimes in Rhodesia, South Africa, Mozambique, Angola and Guinea-Bisseau were also at their height during this period. As was support for the people of Chile whose social democracy, with the electoral victory of Salvador Allende, had shown itself wanting when faced with the armed might of a fascist insurgency. The strength of support for the Chilean people in Liverpool was why so many of them found a welcome there when they fled into exile. This support for Latin American peoples was also expressed in the support for the Sandinistas in Nicaragua whose victory against the Samoza regime in June 1979 seemed to open the way of hope for the people’s of Central America.

But there are always twists and turns in the road. Lack of vigilance means that the leadership of the movement can be side-tracked and taken down dead ends. This happened after the election of Tony Blair in 1997. Any organisation in Liverpool just seemed to dissipate and the May Day demonstrations that had seen tens of thousands marching to the Pier Head became an embarrassment as a handful of people would attempt to keep the tradition going.

Even though there are even more reasons for people to be on the streets to show their anger after the ‘great bank robbery’ – where the bankers do the robbing – of the last six years and the direct involvement of Britain in disastrous, murderous and hugely expensive wars and interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, for example, as well as the present day threat that the country might get involved in such ‘adventures’ in Iran and even the Ukraine, the streets today will remain quiet – or at best we’ll hear a whimper.

It seems that today we are happy to send our sons (and, increasingly, daughters) to fight and die in other lands killing other workers but are not prepared to fight to maintain the gains of the past, let alone move forward to a better future.

In 1886 the workers in Chicago were fighting for an eight-hour day. Now we hear of people taking work home as there’s not enough time in the workplace to complete their task; many people are putting in unpaid overtime in order to try to maintain their employment; and only yesterday it was announced in a report that there are 1.4 million (and probably many more) ‘zero hour contracts’ which provide maximum benefit for the employer and insecurity and uncertainty for the employed.

Capitalism might be laughing all the way to the bank today but tomorrow we will reclaim May Day as Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the great Russian Marxist, described it in 1904:

‘… the day when the workers of all lands celebrate their awakening to a class conscious life, their solidarity in the struggle against all coercion and oppression of man by man, the struggle to free the toiling millions from hunger, poverty and humiliation. Two worlds stand facing each other in this great struggle: the world of capital and the world of labour, the world of exploitation and slavery and the world of brotherhood and freedom.’

A Happy May Day to all!

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