Date of Completion

January 1981


Political Science, General




This biographic study of Chou En-lai covers the period from his birth to the age of twenty-nine and traces the early emergence of key leadership characteristics. Psychoanalytic theory is used as an interpretive framework and Erik Erikson's theories regarding the stages of personality development and growth are applied. Basic causes, from the Freudian point of view, of Chou's impulses towards revolutionary activity are identified.^ The study opens with an analysis of Chou En-lai's family background, education and experience as a teen-ager. His years in Europe, especially France, where he committed himself to communism, are analyzed in detail. Consideration is also given to the background of his wife, Teng Ying-ch'ao, and to their marriage.^ Chou En-lai's early political career after he returned to China is emphasized. This includes the period of the first United Front between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party, when Chou was Political Director of the Whampoa Military Academy, Commissioner of the East River District and Political Adviser to the First Division of the National Revolutionary Army, which was commanded by Chiang Kai-shek. It also includes his activities as an underground operative in Shanghai during the period of the breakdown of the alliance. The study concludes with a reconstruction of the Nanch'ang Rebellion of 1927. Chou En-lai played a major role in that insurrection, which, although a failure at the time, is now regarded as having led to the founding of the Chinese Red Army. ^