Li Dazhao


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(b. 6 Oct. 1888, d. 28 Apr. 1927).

Chinese Communist leader Born of a peasant family, Li gained entrance to Tientsin University and later studied in Japan. He returned to China in 1916 and became professor of history and librarian of Beijing University, where he employed young Mao Zedong as his assistant. From 1917 he was lecturing on Marxism, and the May Fourth Movement stimulated him into merging his study groups into the infant Chinese Communist Party (1921). One of the leading intellectuals supporting the Communists at the time, he worked for good relations with the Guomindang. This cooperation deteriorated from 1926 and, after the occupation of Peking by warlord Chang Tso-lin, he fled to the Soviet Embassy, to no avail; he was captured and hanged.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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