Fellow travelers: Zhou, Mao and 2 revolutionaries I never heard of in Shaanxi, 1937

I spent most of March in Asia and trying to figure out China. To understand the present, you have to understand the past, so I turned to The Search For Modern China, by Jonathan Spence of Yale, which seems to be standard fare for undergrad history surveys. It was a great start, although I wished he had given his analysis of the whys as well as the who, what, when, where, despite the political sensitivities when talking about modern China.

Here is a quick summary mixed with a few conclusions and speculations.