The story of contemporary China typically dates back to Mao’s 1949 revolution. But in this classic work of Marxist scholarship, historian Harold Isaacs uncovers how workers and peasants struggled for a different kind of revolution, one built from the bottom up, in the 1920s. The defeat of their heroic efforts profoundly shaped the further course of modern Chinese history. Harold Isaacs was an acclaimed Marxist historian who identified with Leon Trotsky’s critique of the Soviet Union’s degeneration under Stalinism during the 1920s. The Tragedy, his major work, is dedicated to the “martyrs” of the 1925-1927 revolution, who fought for a truly democratic society.