The Longest Night

Three Generations of Chinese Trotskyists in Defeat, Jail, Exile, and Diaspora


Editors / Translators: and
With an introduction by Gregor Benton.

The Longest Night tells the story of Chinese Trotskyism in its later years, including after Mao Zedong's capture of Beijing in 1949. It treats the three ages of Chinese Trotskyism: the founding generation around Chen Duxiu, Zheng Chaolin, Wang Fanxi, and Peng Shuzhi, who joined the Opposition after their expulsion from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP); the first generation of those who (after 1931) did not first pass through the ranks of the CCP before becoming Trotskyists; and those who became Trotskyists after 1949, mainly in Hong Kong and the diaspora.

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Gregor Benton is emeritus professor of Chinese history at Cardiff University. His many books include Mountain Fires: The Red Army's Three-Year War in South China (1992), honoured by the University of California Press as a special book in Asian Studies and by the Association of Asian Studies as Best Book on Modern China. His most recent book is Chinese Indentured Labour in the Dutch East Indies (Palgrave 2023).

Yang Yang is a visiting researcher at the University of York. In 2018, he completed his PhD at the University of Essex. His thesis explores the Trotskyist movement in China and Hong Kong. He cooperated in the project to translate Zheng Chaolin, Selected Writings, 1942-1998 (Brill 2023) into English.
Scholars and students in the field of East Asian Studies, and social movement activists
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