On November 25, 1948, Henri Cartier-Bresson receives an assignment from Life magazine to report on the “last days of Beijing” before the arrival of the Maoists troops. He went there for two weeks, and remained ten months, mainly around Shanghai, attending the fall of the town of Nanjing held by the Kuomintang, then forced to stay in Shanghai under communist control for 4 months, and leaving China a few days before the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China, October 1, 1949. Over the months, his testimony of “traditional” lifestyles and the establishment of a new order (Beijing, Hangchow, Nanjing,...
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