A valuable description of the antecedents and political results of the incredible Chinese Communist exodus of 1935, along with its day-by-day military history. Continuities are dimmed by an excess of quotations and an undue concern for what Mao took with him, where he left his briefcase, and the like; but the analysis of Mao's role in the Chinese Party and the impact of the Comintern's zigzags create a broader picture of the Long March than any previous source. Wilson, a past director of Far Eastern Economic Review, leans toward the theory that Mao coolly preserved his independence from the unpredictable Comintern. However, this view is contradicted by Mao's Comintern-inspired role in the purge of Li Li-san and Mao's later popular front policy: he steadfastly upheld the Comintern's ""bloc of four classes"" line. The book concludes that the Long March made the Chinese Party more disciplined at the top, proved the efficacy of guerrilla war, allowed independence from the U.S.S.R., and made Mao unshakable. In effect this study undertakes to demonstrate that Mao was always right. At the same time, as a veteran Sinologist, Wilson tends to see Chinese leaders merely lusting for each other's position. He also tends to divorce Chinese politics from world events; no real explanation is given for Comintern policy changes. On balance, however, this is a fine reference source.