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In 1937, Japan launched an all-out invasion of China. The army of the Republic of China and the forces of the Chinese Communists, joined in an uneasy alliance, struggled to resist the inexorable Japanese advances.
Michael Lindsay arrived in China in early 1938 to teach at a missionary university in Peking. As the war ground on, he found he could use his technical skills and special status as a British national to support the Communist-led underground resistance movement in the city. In December 1941, Pearl Harbor changed the terms of the conflict, forcing Lindsay and his new bride out of Peking and sending them to join the Communists in their territories in north China. From 1942 to 1944, Lindsay trained Communist troops in radio technology and battlefield communications. In 1944, the couple, now with a young daughter, moved to the Communists’ wartime capital, Yan’an, where Lindsay transformed the Communists’ news broadcast technology to allow them to get their story out to the world. Lindsay’s students would go on to become central figures in the technological development of the People’s Republic of China after 1949.
Susan V. Lawrence will discuss her research on Lindsay and the Chinese Communists’ quest for technological advancement during World War II, in a public event held in room LJ-119 of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, on Monday, July 18 at 4 pm. Zoom
Lawrence, a Staff Fellow at the Kluge Center, has worked at the Library of Congress since 2010. Earlier in her career, she spent a cumulative 11 years in Beijing as a bureau chief and staff reporter for major U.S. news organizations. Lawrence earned her A.B. and A.M. in East Asian studies from Harvard University. She first lived in China from 1985 to 1987 as a Harvard-Yenching Institute scholar at Peking University.