How many people can say, “I grew up on a schooner sailing ship?”
How many of us from the U.S. can say, “I was a participant in the Cultural Revolution in China in the 1960's?"
“Ann Tompkins' rich and complex life has touched many people. She was raised aboard an 85-foot schooner in the 1930s, struggled against the California "loyalty oath" for teachers, defended the right of a new China to have a voice at a 1965 international peace conference, was one of a handful of Americans in China during China's Cultural Revolution, and taught progressive analytic skills to a generation of American activists.
Now, in the twilight of her life, she is assembling and synthesizing her experiences in social justice movements. This campaign, coordinated by her community of friends and colleagues, will help sharing her life learnings with the broader public.”
Lincoln Cushing, co-author with Ann Tompkins of Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
I've had an unusual life and if I had a nickel for everyone who ever said, “You should write a book,” I'd be wealthy. As a matter of fact, I finally decided to write a book, Across Oceans and Revolution: A Principled Life. Right now I'm in the process of outlining and culling and looking into things and trying to get my memorabilia in order. I have so much in my house, because I've been a collector. And I've begun writing!
I live with a treasure trove of memorabilia. There are family photographs going back more than a century, movie footage of a trip around Cape Horn on the schooner that was my childhood home, writings and books by my father, letters between young friends which illustrate my personal and political development, pamphlets from conferences, letters to my mother written from China, Mao badges, Chinese posters, notebooks and diaries, art work, books, even a 1,200-plus-page FBI file, an incredible collection of resources.
My parents met and married in Paris, then bought a schooner, which they ran sort of like a summer camp where people paid to come to the ship and go across the Atlantic usually from Maine to wherever in Europe. Different places in different years and the crossing of the Atlantic and back every summer between 1928 and 1936. In 1936, the sailing trip was around South America, around Cape Horn, the southern tip of South America and that took us to San Francisco Bay, where the ship was docked in Berkeley. We sailed from there to Hawaii every summer between 1936 and 1941. I lived that adventure and I'd love to share it with you.
With all the world's conflicts between people, nations and ideologies, it has been important to me to have been raised by parents who taught me to think independently. All the people I met and all the places I saw at an early age opened my heart and my mind and helped me view the world around me through a truly broad, yet focused lens.
Over the past few decades, we've learned more and more about the ways in which our opinions have been deceptively shaped, how many lies we've been told. So, too, about the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The descriptions and explanations of that period that you have, most likely, read in the United States do not reflect what I experienced. I was there. I was welcomed. This book will not only be the story of an adventurous and unique life, but it will also correct the misrepresentations of what was a true people's movement. I want to tell you that story.
Though I've returned to China several times, I've primarily lived in the United States since 1970. During that time, I've worked in many social justice movements and have led many workshops on Constructive Criticism and Self-Criticism, a method for preventing and solving problems based on my readings, on my experiences in China and my experiences among our people in the U.S.
I have so much to show you, so much that I've been privileged to see and do, a different world, a unique viewpoint to share with you! I hope you'll help me realize that dream!
I need help because I have Parkinson's and I'm 85 and I'm needing help in order to organize all that I've saved and all that I remember. This request is to raise money to hire somebody to help me write this book.
It's an incredible experience to have so many friends saying. “Ann, you should write a book.” I'm going to try. I've finally gotten to where I'm going to try. I've started the organizing and I've started the writing. We need your support, so I hope you find it in your interest to get the details out of me of all these different, unusual adventures I've had. It's been a good life and I'm still busy with it.
Your donation to the Across Oceans and Revolution campaign is tax deductible (less the value of the reward). Donations will be directed to the Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County, which is the project's fiscal sponsor. When the project reaches its goal, you will receive a letter verifying your donation and including the tax ID of the PJC.
The postcards for the $15, $25, $35, $60 and $75 rewards have these photographs from Ann's collection on them.
Ann has a large collection of buttons to be included for the $35 donation. We will make a selection for you. - Reward #3
Autographed book for $50 - Reward #4
A 4 button set for $60 - only 1 set available - Reward #6
1 Chinese papercut for a donation of $50 or a set of 8 (all different) for $200 - we will select for you - Rewards #5 and #12
"Constructive Criticism and Self-Criticism: A Method for Preventing and Solving Problems" for a $75 donation - Reward #7
Original Cultural Revolution Mao button for a $100 donation - small, under 1" - we will select for you - Reward #8
"Fifty South to Fifty South" by Warwick M. Tompkins for $100 - Reward #9
"Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Revolution" - Ann Tompkins and Lincoln Cushing, co-authors - for a $150 donation - Reward #10 and #14
Your choice of 1 12"x12" or 1 9"x12" photograph, matted, for $250 - dimensions before matting - Reward #13 and #14
Risks and challenges
Obviously, my health and age create obstacles to my finishing the book. But that's why I'm asking for your help. Hiring an assistant will go a long way toward making the book a reality. Usually a fundraising campaign for a book is created to fund editing and printing – the final steps of the process – and the book itself is offered as a reward. I'm not there yet, so I'm offering different rewards, including my previous book. And when this one is written? I'll have another campaign to get it published and the book and a party to launch it will be the reward. Thank you, in advance, for helping to make this a reality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)