Agnes Smedley was an American journalist, writer, and activist. In the autobiographical novel Daughter of Earth (1929), she portrayed the emergence of her feminist and socialist consciousness in the context of poverty-stricken miners’ families in Missouri and Colorado. She organized support for India’s independence from the United Kingdom while a college student during World War I, receiving financial support from the German government. Following the war, she worked with Indian nationalists in Germany. As a journalist, she lived and worked in China between 1928 and 1941. She worked with the Eighth Route Army during the First Sino-Japanese War and lived for a time in the communist base at Yan’an during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Smedley worked as a correspondent for the Frankfurter Zeitung and Manchester Guardian in China. As a significant war correspondent, she covered many topics, including the Anti-Japanese War. She also broadcast in English for the rebels during the Xi’an Incident of December 1936. During the Second United Front, she reported on the Second Sino-Japanese War. In 1937, she traveled with the 8th Route Army, then from 1938–1939, she visited some units of the noncommunist Chinese army.
These boys and girls were formerly cultural workers in the 21st Group Army in Anhwei (Anhui), but deserted and joined the Communist guerrillas in Anhwei (Anhui) and north Kiangsu (Jiangsu) Province because they refused to obey orders of growing Fascist reaction in that Army.
Reds lose one of 'Big Three'--Chu Teh Killed!" These headlines screamed across the press of China and the world a dozen times in the past ten years during the wars of Nanking (Nanjing) against the Chinese Workers and Peasants Red Army. Chu Teh, on the right (Lin Piao on the left, or Lin Biao), the much-killed Red Commander-in-chief, laughs in amusement when he hears of his repeated deaths.