Rewi Alley of China
Rewi Alley of China
Chapple, Geoff
"Rewi Alley means to China today as much as Colonel Lawrence meant to the Arabs, and perhaps more. Where Lawrence brought to Arabia the destructive technique of guerilla warfare, Alley is teaching China the constructive organisation of guerilla industry." So wrote China's best known foreign correspondent, Edgar Snow, in 1941. Then, Rewi Alley was leading China's 'Gung Ho' movement in a fight-back against Japanese invaders. But his contribution to China didn't stop there. He went on to found a school, a vision of self-sufficiency in a desert setting. There, hundreds of peasant students made everything they needed, from ink to iron. Nor did he stop there. He has been called a perpetual motion machine. His energy to stay always on the move, combined with the turmoil and intrigue of Chinese history itself, has produced a rich human story of adventure and high social goals. The story tells by what twists of fate a New Zealand backblocks farmer came to discuss national policy with Mao Zedong while the communist leader still lived isolated in caves. It tells of the high honour accorded Rewi Alley by the Chinese, and also of the tensions which surrounded him during the Cultural Revolution. Today he remains the longest-lived foreigner within China, and a constant traveller of the interior.
Second hand Paperback