Notes towards an assessment: The phenomenon of Rewi Alley, people's warrior

Bruce Harding

Rewi Alley book covers
Rewi Alley, 'Poems for Aotearoa' (Auckland: New Zealand-China Society and Progressive Book Society, 1972) and '73 Man to Be' (Christchurch: Caxton Press, 1970).

The New Zealander Rewi Alley (1897–1987)[1] was raised in a progressive home imbued with a range of ideals (educational, suffragist, and in favor of Henry George-style land reform) during the late Victorian period of colonial settlement by English migrants. This vibrant and highly energized (and energizing) young man had a mixed rural and urban upbringing during the light-leftist Liberal Government of Premier Richard Seddon, and his urban secondary school (Christchurch Boys’ High School) was then a site of Anglophile and imperialistic views as well as an elite “prep” school for Canterbury College. It is no surprise, therefore, that Rewi and his elder brother (Eric) volunteered to serve in the slaughter of the Great War, Eric dying at the Somme (1916) and Rewi badly wounded after acts of great valor near Cambrai-Baupame in late 1918. It was an almost Kennedyesque situation, with Eric being the family’s Joe Jr. and Rewi the JFK figure who needed to live two lives as an over-achiever — and who swapped his devout Anglican and conformist British ideals for socialist reformism and, finally, full-blown Mao-inflected Communism as a Westerner who lived his adult life in China from 1927 until his death as a venerated, adopted honorary citizen of Beijing in December 1987. Rewi’s amazing achievement was to re-invent himself from self-described ‘country bumpkin’ into a powerful China-wide organizer of Indusco, the Chinese industrial co-operative movement (Gung Ho) during the long war of Anti-Japanese Resistance (1937–45). This work with China’s poorest radicalized the Kiwi egalitarian into a utopian Marxian reformer who drew inspiration from Mao, especially his July 1937 lecture ‘On Practice.’[2]

The Kiwi Rhodes Scholar James Bertram (19101993), who interviewed Mao Zedong well before the 1949 Revolution, defined the 1920s conundrum for young people like himself and Rewi Alley as being “caught between our books and the world, at the opening of a decade that was to lead from economic depression into the dark tunnel of war.”[3] I venture the hypothesis that Alley’s was ultimately a sacerdotal mission — to contribute to ‘saving’ and renewing China and the Chinese people; that he was a Sinophile humanist/humanitarian and started to practice the Alley family’s neo-Fabian reformist ideals some considerable time after his arrival in Shanghai in April 1927. The urge to foster “creative technicians” (letter 1952[4]) was developed in the Chinese Industrial Co-operative/Red Army years (1938–42) and came to significant fruition in the rural education work at Shandan (Gansu) until Alley’s unwanted ejection (by Kuomintang forces) from what Alley viewed as a remote and challenging mini-‘paradise’ of human striving.[5]

One may recall Rex Fairburn’s comments about the post-Great War New Zealand to which Alley returned: as being smug, narrow-minded, conservative, hypocritical, and riddled with shallow materialism — a secular puritans’ paradise! The left-wing poet R.A.K. Mason (later a keen adept of Alley and of the New China) wrote of “Kiplingesque beef-and-beer Britons” and deemed Kiwi Land as a society ruled by men “who consider the world was made and the stars ranged in order to facilitate the transport of pigs between Taupiri and Wairoa.” He added that New Zealand “has three idols — dairy-farming, footballers, and profit — the cow, the bullock, the gilded calf.”[6] It took Rewi longer to appreciate this for himself, as he loved his monosexual schoolboy rugby and first-class rowing at CBHS (1912–15) and later tried serious farming with his schoolmate Jack Stevens after being demobilized from the European war in 1919. Mason’s biographer, Rachel Barrowman, describes Rewi’s crucible as “the grim, jingoistic, messy years of the First World War and its aftermath.”[7] A way of coping with a compromised Britisher identity was to evolve gradually into a left-wing social reformer and self-taught writer of memoirs, short fiction, and reams of diaristic and often ‘agitprop,’ if heartfelt and deeply sincere, poetry which has been too long ignored in New Zealand’s literary histories. It is regrettable that Alley gets only a short entry mention (essentially bibliographical) in The Oxford History of New Zealand Literature (1991; 1998) only as a poet.[8]   


Rewi became a missionary of a pre-lapsarian humanity, self-created not begotten (the New Marxist Faith). Marx may have written that there is no secular Parousia; that “communism is not itself the aim of human development or the final form of human society” (1844),[9] but Rewi seemed to think that in the emerging New China he was dwelling in a paradise of human striving, a new society of Marxist “social principles and economic theory,” which was marching forward in an unstoppable Hegelian pathway.[10] He sought a new national community (New Zealand being too given over to capitalist and petit-bourgeois visions), and so Rewi modified his fellow schoolmate Allen Curnow’s ‘Land and People’ tropology[11] by consciously escaping his inherited and notional ‘Britisher’ identity and being willingly taken over by the spell of a proud, ancient dignified civilization, a diverse and complex mega-state in which it was suitable for a New World émigré to dream big dreams. Alley despised right-wing American missionaries of the 1920s30s whose anti-Communist ideology got further away “from Christ the Carpenter, the greater the intimacy with the landlord group,” and he wrote that Generalissimo Ziang Jeshi portrayed himself, hypocritically, as “a devoted Christian.”[12] Alley lambasted the “Church Acquiescent” for flourishing and aiding the moneybags.[13] Rewi was in a post-WWI search beyond what Lord Clark called the first (individualistic) version of ‘heroic materialism’— “the intellectual prison of classical economics” and “money, gain, the new god of the nineteenth century”[14] into which Alley was only just born. But after his farming venture failed due to a slump in global wool prices, Alley tipped bales into the river at Moeawatea, switched and eventually substituted the Marxist doctrine of economic determinism for capitalist laissez-faire, with the added neo-Hegelian notion that Communism is pre-destined to arrive in a new Marxist version of an heroically (because collective) materialist society.


The distinguished novelist Christopher Isherwood and poet W.H. Auden met Rewi in Shanghai in 1938, as they travelled like dandies (with a ‘coolie’ servant), surveying the Sino-China War and sampling Sodomite Shanghai’s gay fleshpots.[15] This meeting codes us to Alley’s probable contact with the gay scene in Shanghai, as two ‘queer’ Oxbridge aesthetes would hardly have known how to locate an under-educated civil servant (Alley) in that bustling metropolis if he had no connections with the gay underworld. And this seemingly rampant speculation gains further currency by the fact that Alley never openly referred to or openly advertised this contact — made just before he began to work for Indusco later in 1938. Auden and Isherwood arrived in China in late February and departed from Shanghai for Canada on the Empress of Asia on 12 June 1938, having met Zhou Enlai (Chou En-lai), Jiang Jeshi (Chiang Kai-shek), and Agnes Smedley, and they experienced only two days of front-line warfare with Chiang’s Nationalists at the northeast front at Han Chwang (where they were removed to safety from bombardment) and gained a brief glimpse of CCP forces on the SE front at Meikiwhere they were evacuated ten hours before Japanese forces occupied it. Much of the rest of their time was frankly, camply touristic, akin to “a professional comedy act” as they played at being foreign war correspondents.[16] On 25 May 1938 they reached Japanese-occupied Shanghai and stayed with the British Ambassador in the International Settlement, Sir Archibald Clark-Kerr (later Lord Inverchapel), from whom they concealed their gay sexual excursions but who received such deceit with a gleam in his eye.[17] This was perhaps a key connection because Clark-Kerr (who had only arrived in February 1938) was not the usual snobbish British administrator-in-chief but “rather a decent old bird, most likable.”[18] Alley stated that C-K was liberal and “openly anti-Axis, anti-Franco and anti-Japanese” and sought out Edgar Snow’s opinions about the new Indusco project and discovered that it had the strong support of Soong Ching Ling and her brother T.V. Soong. Snow put forward Alley as a leader, stating: “Alley is definitely the man,” and soon Alley left working for the Shanghai Municipal Council and accompanied Sir Archibald on a liner to Hong Kong from whence they flew up to Hankow.[19] Possibly Sir Archibald connected Auden-Isherwood (with a knowing wink) with Alley, Camplin, and other like-minded male birds. But what is vastly more important is the fact that Snow reported Alley’s great success in the Chinese Industrial Co-operatives (CIC) movement role in his 1941 Saturday Evening Post booster feature,[20] which Rewi’s high school was very proud to reprint, in full, with an accompanying image of Rewi’s sculpted head (executed in 1937 by Francis Shurrock), making him look like a Western variant of “Pekin Man.”[21] This is, historically, an almost prophetic conjunction, as it underscored Alley’s metamorphosis from a short-back-and-sides Kiwi bloke to an iconic Sinophile who befriended the great Cambridge academic and historian of Chinese science, Sir Joseph Needham,[22] who years later identified Alley as one of his most admired immortals. 

Snow asserted that “Alley is unique because he has achieved greatness in a country where few foreigners ever managed to create an authentic ripple. He means to China to-day at least as much as Colonel Lawrence meant to the Arabs,” adding that “where Lawrence brought to Arabia the destructive technique of guerilla warfare, Alley is teaching China the constructive organization of guerilla industry.”[23] Mythmaker for foreign funds that Snow then was, he forged a useful legend, which could praise “Alley’s Indusco” and liken him to a “missionary whose churches are the workshops of China.”[24] Not unreasonably, Snow emphasized Rewi’s hatred of human wastage and cruel, needless suffering, an insight developed during Alley’s seven years as a factory inspector for the Shanghai Municipal Council in the Settlement, where exploitation for cash was endemic and fevered. Alley exposed racketeering after journeying to Berlin, Paris, and New York to study industrial systems, in the very early stages of his Marxist metanoia.[25] Alas, Alley’s reforms were stymied by the devious doctrine of extra-territorial law in the Settlement and then smashed by the 1937 Japanese occupation which cynically demolished over 140,000 business and factory buildings and houses in the Shanghai region. For Alley, Snow reports, this “was the wreckage of his own effort to inject a little decency into Asiatic industry”; and, distressed by a horrific rise in unemployment, Rewi developed “his idea of a new type of production, fitted both to war-time needs and the social structure of China — small decentralized industry spread over the towns and villages instead of concentrated in the cities, industry in which labor and capital could really work together, industry that could not only win the war but also win the peace.”[26] Alley led a ‘Work Together’ movement that saw him cross 18,000 miles of China in two years in humble modes of transport (including his own chunky legs), as what Clark-Kerr called ‘this perpetual-motion machine.’ Alley’s CIC crusade intrigued Jawaharl Nehru and the Burmese before Jiang’s vicious operatives removed Alley from executive power in 1942 due to his links with Mao Zedong in his Yan’an days and thus with the CCP. 

Rewi Alley meets Mao Zedong, Beijing, 1966.
Rewi Alley meets Mao Zedong, Beijing, 1966.              


Alley wrote a twinned episodic memoir, the first volume being Yo Banfa![27] In the sequel, The People Have Strength (Peking, 1954), Alley wrote passionately of the evil days of a colonized Shanghai (as a British treaty port/canton) and about the haughty bronze lions looking down from the main doors of the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, the Yokohama Specie Bank, and the American Club during “the years of the Kuomintang terror, from 1927 right up to the time of liberation,” in which about 100,000 Chinese patriots were killed.[28] What needs exploration is the extent to which severe demoralization with the imperialistic economy (focused on the lies about the Great War and the failure of the Taranaki farm) and his fond memories of the large Northwest Chinese soldiers whom he met in France on the Western Front radicalized Rewi as a socialist who, having gained his overseas experience during the needless imperial war, perhaps longed to see a revolution. Rewi described Shanghai, his 1927 alighting-point on 21 April, as

a dreadful place for the underdog who would not stay under; a place of wonderful freedom for the businessman come to China to get rich quick, for the official, for the compradore. For these it meant summer holidays at Tsingtao seaside resort, or at Unzen on the mountains in Japan; night clubs and luxury homes, well-trained servants, houseboat parties and world travel at frequent intervals.[29]

But for the alienated labourers whose toil generated those ill-gotten gains for the rising ‘Gatsby’ class of feudal gangster-capitalists, “it meant a whole family in some stifling room in a tenement house, tortured by vermin, malnutrition, sickness, and frequent deaths.”[30] The “strong man” of Nanking keeping the lid on this iniquity was Jiang Jeshi, whom Alley loathed as “the chief butcher of the Chinese people, the traitor Chiang Kai-shek, now known to five hundred million as Chiang Faei — ‘Chuang the bandit,’ the great friend of missionaries, and the whole lock, stock, and barrel of pitiful, puffy, and pampered dependents” later lounging in Taiwan.[31] Alley recalled the bright young 1920s things “carefully tailored in foreign business suits, with swanky cars, living in luxury flats — the very loyal supporters of the utterly corrupt Kuomintang which presenting, with ‘American assistance,’ a sweet face to the Western world, lived off its own people like some ravenous beast.”[32] Alley also recalled such KMT boosters as Lin Yu-tang and Hu Shih keeping the Rotarians happy with pap.[33]

Alley reposed his touchingly simple humanist faith in a society of people able to stand up “so that misery and hopelessness of so many generations might be cast off and the people laugh again.”[34] The prospect of China standing on her own two feet was Alley’s long-held creed, and Alley spent his last nine months (1937–38) in the KMT stronghold of old Shanghai. In 1952 he recalled the French Club inhabited by stuffy Guards officers “with impossible and pretentious titles eating snails; and a bored (European) figure who was royalty in the British Navy, bored with too much attention and seemingly bored with everything.”[35] Alley also recalled a class of drunken, callous, and gambling-prone factory owners, ruinously indifferent to the fate of their workers in pre-Liberation days. The alliance between the CCP (red-shirt workers) and KMT (blue-shirt bourgeoisie) began in 1924 [36] and was always an uneasy one. Rewi felt the need to straddle this antinomy while the War of Anti-Japanese Resistance was fought, to throw off the foreign yoke, but under Jeshi the KMT’s first priority was to ‘beat the Reds’: First Reunification then Resistance. Alley recalled that the KMT gathered leftist political prisoners, tortured and shot them, and he gave a graphic and deeply disturbing account of KMT persecution of ‘Reds’ and rebels in a KMT-run mini-gulag in his 1936 prose ‘faction,’ Prisoners Shanghai 1936 (Christchurch, NZ: The Caxton Press, 1973). This fifty-eight-page expose was not published after the Sian Incident (December 1936) and the Anti-Japanese Front (with the KMT) came into being, but it was based on actual atrocity stories told to Alley in 1936.

Henry Baring, “a Marxist schoolmaster” in Shanghai,[37] gave Alley a copy of Marx’s Das Kapital after Alley had witnessed the execution of five Communist union organizers in Wuxi (Wusih) in March 1928. Airey cites Alley describing these callous shootings as “all this indelible ink/written on the parchment of one’s skull” (poem ‘Autobiography’), and he was self-radicalizing away from Christian pacifism well before 1938 when he was appointed by Sir Archibald Clark-Kerr of the CIC Committee to Wuhan (former site of appalling floods and a Red Government in 1927), in order to act as a salesman for the CIC, where the practical American missionary Dr. Joseph Bailie had organized famine relief for the China International Famine Relief Commission. On the strength of work Alley had done for famine relief in Suiyuan in 1929, in 1931 he was appointed the League of Nations representative for dyke repair, doing amazing (but little heralded) work at Hankow for the Flood Relief Commission.[38] Alley arranged for the importation of massive grain supplies to break a famine for multiple thousands in Hong Hu and assisted in the removal of refugees out of Hankow. 

It was on his journey (from Beijing to Saratsi) that Alley met the US journalist Edgar Snow, in China to write about Chinese railways but who became immensely impressed by this “carrot-haired foreigner,” “a queer duck, but interesting.”[39] All of these activities later led Alley rather naturally into Indusco. In after years Alley explained to his beloved youngest brother, Pip, that “the Indusco effort was crucial as the main object of Gung Ho was to keep Chiang in the war, and as [the] US backed Gung Ho [sic], it influenced Chiang deeply.”[40] Alley finally arrived again in Wuhan in July 1938 and set about establishing the Gung Ho co-operatives logo, badges, and other impedimenta [41] in the city where (in 1931) he had adopted a Hubei peasant boy (Mike).[42]

By 1943 Rewi was demoted by the KMT into the lower roles of Acting-Director and Field Secretary of the CIC International Committee, and stated: “I am fired from any position of great moment.” In a Christchurch Press article based on an undated letter to Pip Alley, Rewi summarized his secular missionary impulse:

I have done my best for the Chinese people over these 16 years [to late 1942], and feel very much that their struggle for livelihood and for the better deal they deserve, is now part of my own make-up.

This service ethic would be the source of Alley labelling himself “China’s No.1 White Coolie”[43] — a servant role which was cruelly terminated before the 1949 Communist victory over Jeshi. Thereafter, Alley had to re-invent himself in another serving role in order to stay on in the New China, and the peace movement was the key lever, where he chose to become a booster, travelling ideological salesman, and propagandist for the new regime. During the Beijing Peace Conference of the Asian and Pacific Regions of June 1952, Alley confronted Western rumour-mongering of Maoist horrors and terror in the new state and dispelled what he called fairy-tale ideas “in the light of the good truth,”[44] but if Jo-Anne Brady is right, Alley was pained already by Mao’s own rejection of his Gung Ho model and being taken away from Shandan to be a propagandist hireling in Beijing for the new regime. Such experiences in the first years of the Mao era must have become an habitual mind-space for this ‘good Kiwi joker,’ for Alley had to endure what he called years of terror and distress, “the eight years of Japanese occupation and many more of KMT misrule”[45] as Gung Ho struggled against advancing Japanese fascist-militarists and the ‘banditized’ KMT soldiers trying to loot the co-operatives just “as we tried to evacuate them, our members resisting and killing the killers with stones, wrestling rifles away with which to protect themselves,” said one of the KMT army commanders coming through Shandan, having been trained at Potsdam Military College.[46] With Industo, Alley and his CIC teams were actually enacting Marx’s focus on technical and agricultural schools, and of écoles d’enseignement professionnel, in which the children of the working men receive some practical handling of the various implements of labour,”[47] except that under Gung Ho, the students had to make the tools as well as the products. Alley’s driving focus on a collective working group was also thoroughly Marxian for eschewing the brutal capitalist form of production, “where the labourer exists for the process of production, and not the process of production for the labourer,” in a more humane and equalitarian model of human work and productivity.[48] The CIC aligned with the Marxist ideal of ending “the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour, and with it the antithesis between mental and physical labour.”[49] This is the radical meaning of the materialistic conception of history/historical materialism: that the lowliest and poorest could become the standard-bearers of history, whose everyday lives and needs give it substance. This was the humanization and social renovation project which Rewi Alley subscribed to with decency and honour. As such, he could never, as a revivalist True Believer, ever have evolved into a ‘neo-Marxist,’ for that would have equated with Mao’s despised revisionism and back-sliding, which it was the avowed purpose of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966–70) to keep firmly in check. This would be what Rewi meant by “the beginning of people’s power.”[50] After all, in the last brutal push on the Western Front (1918), Alley saw what the capitalist war machine did to European “civilization,” and this will have been relevant to his discovery of a New Kerygma — a key to ending ethnic-class oppression and to liberate a subjugated, endlessly and crudely exploited people (the Chinese).[51] Alley cited the people who preferred to “die on their feet rather than live on their knees.”[52] Another mantra was that “the common man has strength enough for anything.”[53] Putting this more sharply, Alley wrote: “The peasant can become a leader or an engineer; his hand can touch electric switches setting great power in action, he can drive jet planes, tanks — everything is possible.”[54]

Rewi Alley was a true humanitarian and unquestionably China’s white Marxian ‘Blitzbuilder’ in the 1930s40s, but he experienced severely repressed angst at Mao’s excesses against the Chinese masses in his megalomanic quest for superpower status (including acquiring the dreaded H-bomb).[55] Alley’s secular utopia wobbled terribly for his adopted sons, ‘Alan’ and ‘Mike,’ during the Cultural Revolution, and he was further appalled at Mao playing at détente and courting the old Cold Warrior Richard Nixon (whom he always slated as ‘Richard the Sly’) in the epochal China Summit of February 1972.[56]  Alley had a lifelong and visceral hatred of what Gore Vidal called the National Security State, and this was well summarized in his ‘agitprop’ poem ‘A Limit’ (Peking, 8 February 1971), in which Alley argued that in 1954, when the French were defeated by Viet Minh forces, ‘Richard the Sly’ wanted to nuke the Asiatics, and Alley erroneously asserted in 1971 that Nixon was keen to nuke the Asians, while validly recalling that at Hiroshima and Nagasaki “the U.S. killed as it willed, leaving / deep scars on the minds / of multi-millions, arousing / hatred everywhere.”[57] But this terrible dereliction by Mao (the Hunan lad “growing older, / drawing others around him, putting acquired theory into practice, leading / in rebellion against / all old evils”[58]) led, after Mao’s death in 1976, to the return of capitalism by the back door in the form of Hua Guofeng and Deng Xiaoping’s pro-market fiscal reforms[59] — anathema to ‘Ai-li’ who began to abhor the shallow materialism, chaotic Westernized greed and consumerism of China’s youth, for putting flight to the forces of pure ‘Mao Zedong Thought’ which, Alley fervently believed, would lead the people to “make alkaline wastes fertile, work the mines, build the industry, and make a new China in which the people could lift their heads and live.”[60]

Alley’s was a long, tempestuous, and deeply productive journey from his humble upbringing in a tiny outpost of the dying British Empire into becoming an iconic figure for positive communal (almost millenarian) change in the New China. In 1954 he asserted that the rest of the world needs the peace-loving Chinese, who “press forward with their tasks like a mighty wave engulfing the sorrows and tragedy of the past and advancing ever higher up the gleaming sands”[61], in their version of heroic materialism. Even before he was starting to feel deprived of this faith, the ardently Sinophile Rewi (once reviled in New Zealand as a ‘Communist traitor’) movingly declared his ultimate fealty to the land of his birth: “I remain a New Zealander, but I have become a Chinese too.”[62] —Bruce Harding (Department of English, College of Arts, School of Humanities, University of Canterbury, New Zealand).

[1] See Willis Airey, Learner in China: A Life of Rewi Alley (Christchurch: The Caxton Press & Monthly Review Society, 1970) and Geoff Chapple, Rewi Alley of China (1980; rpt. Sceptre NZ/Hodder & Stoughton, 1989).

[2] Mao Zedong, Collected Works, Marxists Internet Library.

[3] Bertram; cited by James Beattie, “Harold Youren, Peace Activism and New China,” Visions of Peace: The H.W. Youren Collection and the Art of Chinese Soft Diplomacy by Beattie and Richard Bullen (University of Canterbury Confucius Institute/MTG Hawke’s Bay, 2014), 16–17.

[4] Alley; letter to students at Shandan (September 1952); cited by Jo-Anne Brady, Friend of China: The Myth of Rewi Alley (Richmond, UK: Routledge Curzon, 2002), 58.

[5] See Rewi Alley, Sandan: An Adventure in Creative Education (Christchurch: The Caxton Press, 1959).

[6] Mason; cited by Rachel Barrowman, Mason: The Life of R.A.K. Mason (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 2003), 47.

[7] Barrowman, Mason, 47.

[8] The listing ignores Alley’s many prose works; in (ed.) Terry Sturm, The Oxford History of New Zealand Literature in English (Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1991), 637 and on 779 of the revised (1998) edition.

[9] Cited by Tom Bottomore and Maximilien Rubel, ed., Karl Marx: Selected Writings (Harmondsworth, Mx: Penguin Books, 1958), 252.

[10] Rewi Alley, The People Have Strength (Peking: author, 1954), 207.

[11] See Allen Curnow, Not in Narrow Seas: Poems with Prose (Christchurch: The Caxton Press, 1939).

[12] Alley, The People Have Strength, 233.

[13] Ibid., 234.

[14] Kenneth Clark, Civilisation: A Personal View  (London: BBC/ John Murray, 1969), 226.

[15] See Isherwood’s 226-page “Travel Diary,” in their travel memoir and verse collection, Journey to a War (London: Faber & Faber/New York: Random House, 1939).

[16] Christopher Finney, Christopher Isherwood: A Critical Biography (London & Boston: Faber & Faber, 1979), 138.

[17] Marsha Bryant, Auden and Documentary in the 1930s (Charlottesville & London: University Press of Virginia, 1997), 46.

[18] Alley; cited by Airey, 153.

[19] Airey, 154. Isherwood and Auden also visited Hankow and Chengchow (Bryant, 150).

[20] Edgar Snow, “China’s Blitzbuilder, Rewi Alley,” The Saturday Evening Post 213, no. 32, February 8, 1941, 38.

[21] ‘Rewi Alley’ by Edgar Snow; rpt. in Christchurch Boys’ High School Magazine, no. 104, December 1941, 14–18.

[22] Simon Winchester, Bomb, Book and Compass: Joseph Needham and the Great Secrets of China (New York: Viking Press, 2008). Needham was in 1943 the Director of the Sino-British Science Corporation office and joined Alley on a journey to Gansu in China’s remote northwest.

[23] Snow; rpt. in CBHS Magazine, 14.

[24] Ibid., 15.

[25] Ibid., 16.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Rewi Alley, Yo Banfa!  (Shanghai: New China Monthly Review 1952).

[28] Alley, The People Have Strength, 194. This book is the declared sequel to Yo Banfa!

[29] Ibid., 195.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid., 231.

[33] Ibid., 231.

[34] Ibid., 195.

[35] Ibid., 204.

[36] Geoff Chapple, Rewi Alley of China (1980), 35.

[37] Airey, A Learner in China, 79.

[38] Ibid., 72 and Chapter VIII: Hankow Flood Relief, 96–109.

[39] Edgar Snow, Scorched Earth (London: Victor Gollancz, 1941), 92

[40] Rewi Alley to P.J. Alley, 8 August 1976 (Macmillan Brown Papers 45, Folder 4), Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury.

[41] Geoff Chapple, Rewi Alley of China, op.cit., 105.

[42] Airey, A Learner in China, 107.

[43] Alley; cited by Edgar Snow, CBHS Magazine, 18.

[44] Alley, The People Have Strength, 212.

[45] Ibid., 213.

[46] Ibid., 241.

[47] Karl Marx, Capital I (1967), VA 1, 514.

[48] Ibid., 516. 

[49] Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Programme (1875); pub. by Friedrich Engels in Neue Zeit 1891; rpt. in 1938.

[50] Alley, The People Have Strength, 214.

[51] Alley cited the Opium War as “one of the dirtiest of all wars in history,” The People Have Strength, 247.

[52] Ibid., 195.

[53] Ibid., 245.

[54] Ibid., 246.

[55] See Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, Mao: the Unknown Story (London: Jonathan Cape, 2005).

[56] See R.M. Nixon, “Asia after Vietnam,” Foreign Affairs 46, no. 1 (October 1967), 111–125, and Margaret MacMillan, Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World (New York: Random House, 2006).

[57] Alley, Winds of Change: Poems by Rewi Alley (Christchurch: The Caxton Press, 1972), 67.

[58] Alley, “These Children of China” (Shanghai, 23 November 1967), ibid., 16.

[59] See Ezra F. Vogel, Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press/Harvard UP, 2011).

[60] Alley, Travels in China 1966–71 (Peking: New World Press, 1973), 237.

[61] Alley, The People  Have Strength, 281.

[62] Alley, cited by Airey, 288.