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An Unfinished RepublicLeading by Word and Deed in Modern China$
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David Strand

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267367

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267367.001.0001

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Sun Yat-sen’s Last Words

Sun Yat-sen’s Last Words

(p.236) CHAPTER 6 Sun Yat-sen’s Last Words
An Unfinished Republic

David Strand

University of California Press

Some political leader's speeches were given then, as now, in person to much smaller groups of party members, activists, contributors, journalists, and the curious. The image of the political leader in modern China begins with Kang Youwei at Songyun'an speaking to a few thousand literati and leads to a variety of set-piece scenes. These include Sun Yat-sen on a tour of the Chinese diaspora, protest leaders speaking to crowds in the 1905 anti-American boycott movement and during the railway recovery movements of the first decade of the century, and popular movements of the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s. So powerful in China was the image of the leader speaking directly to the assembled crowd that at least one Chinese student of public speaking insisted that only a speech made while literally “facing the masses” could really be called oratory. Chinese republicanism was forged, broken, and recast in unifying small thoughts of opinion and sentiment.

Keywords:   Kang Youwei, Songyun, diaspora, opinion, sentiment

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