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A journey from adventure to courage!
80 backers pledged $12,009 to help bring this project to life.
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$12,009

80

How many people can say, “I grew up on a schooner sailing ship?”

Wander Bird
Wander Bird

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 in China
Ann in China

“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

Ann and her family on the Wander Bird
Ann and her family on the Wander Bird

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!

Reading Mao's Little Red Book
Reading Mao's Little Red Book

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. 

Playing on our home on the ocean!
Playing on our home on the ocean!

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. 

Ann with her husband and son in China
Ann with her husband and son in China

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.

Ann harvesting cabbage in China
Ann harvesting cabbage in China

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! 

The merging of two worlds - Ann's husband and son on the Wander Bird
The merging of two worlds - Ann's husband and son on the Wander Bird

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.

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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.

Postcard #1 - The Wander Bird at sea
Postcard #1 - The Wander Bird at sea
Postcard #2 - Deaf man listening to the singing of his comrades
Postcard #2 - Deaf man listening to the singing of his comrades
Postcard #3 - Wander Bird
Postcard #3 - Wander Bird
Postcard #4 - Chinese vinegar maker
Postcard #4 - Chinese vinegar maker
Postcard #5 - 2 boys at the market
Postcard #5 - 2 boys at the market

Ann has a large collection of buttons to be included for the $35 donation. We will make a selection for you. - Reward #3

Buttons reflecting a lifetime of interests
Buttons reflecting a lifetime of interests

 Autographed book for $50 - Reward #4

Book autographed by the author for Ann's parents
Book autographed by the author for Ann's parents

A 4 button set for $60 - only 1 set available - Reward #6

One of a kind 4 button set
One of a kind 4 button set

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

Chinese papercut
Chinese papercut
Chinese paper cut
Chinese paper cut

"Constructive Criticism and Self-Criticism: A Method for Preventing and Solving Problems" for a $75 donation - Reward #7

Criticism and Self-Criticism manuscript
Criticism and Self-Criticism manuscript

Original Cultural Revolution Mao button for a $100 donation - small, under 1" - we will select for you - Reward #8

Cultural Revolution Mao pin
Cultural Revolution Mao pin

 "Fifty South to Fifty South" by Warwick M. Tompkins for $100 - Reward #9

Fifty South to Fifty South
Fifty South to Fifty South

"Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Revolution" - Ann Tompkins and Lincoln Cushing, co-authors - for a $150 donation - Reward #10 and #14

Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Revolution"
Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Revolution"

Your choice of 1 12"x12" or 1 9"x12" photograph, matted, for $250 - dimensions before matting - Reward #13 and #14

Photo #1 - Wander Bird, on deck - 12"x12"
Photo #1 - Wander Bird, on deck - 12"x12"
Photo #2 - 2 boys at the market (taken by Ann Tompkins) - 12"x12"
Photo #2 - 2 boys at the market (taken by Ann Tompkins) - 12"x12"
Photo #3 - Wander Bird at sea (taken by Warwick M. Tompkins) - 9" x 12"
Photo #3 - Wander Bird at sea (taken by Warwick M. Tompkins) - 9" x 12"
Photo #4 - Chinese vinegar maker (taken by Ann Tompkins) - 12"x12"
Photo #4 - Chinese vinegar maker (taken by Ann Tompkins) - 12"x12"

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    3 (4"x6") postcards - 1 each of photographs from Ann's past on the ocean and in China

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    5 (4"x6") postcards - 1 each of photographs from Ann's past on the ocean and in China

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    5 (4"x6") postcards - i each of photographs from Ann's past on the ocean and in China - plus 1 political button from Ann's collection - we will select

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A Chinese papercut - paper-cutting originated in China and the papercuts - called window flowers - were used to decorate windows and doors. See an example at the end of the "Story" portion of this campaign.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    "Constructive Criticism and Self-Criticism: A Method for Preventing and Solving Problems" - an unpublished manuscript, which Ann wrote and used in workshops on the subject in the 1970's - 102 pp.

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    Original Mao pins from the Cultural Revolution - we will select - See an example at the end of the "Story" portion of this campaign.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    "Fifty South to Fifty South" - book written by Ann's father, Warwick M. Tompkins, about sailing around Cape Horn - autographed by Ann and her brother, the Commodore - first published in 1938, 268 pp.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    "Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" - book by Ann Tompkins and Lincoln Cushing - a full-color collection of more than 150 posters of cultural celebration, industrial development, agricultural production and revolutionary heroes - published in 2007 - 144 pp.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    DVD of the movie taken by Ann's father, Warwick Tompkins, of their trip around Cape Horn

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    A set of 6 Chinese papercuts - paper-cutting originated in China and the papercuts - called window flowers - were used to decorate windows and doors. See an example at the end of the "Story" portion of this campaign.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    1 - 12"x12" photo or 9"x12" photo print from Ann's collection, matted - choose from selection shown at the end of the "Story" portion of this campaign; plus 5 (4"x6") postcards

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    DVD of the movie taken by Ann's father, Warwick Tompkins, of their trip around Cape Horn OR "Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" - book by Ann Tompkins and Lincoln Cushing - a full-color collection of more than 150 posters of cultural celebration, industrial development, agricultural production and revolutionary heroes - published in 2007 - 144 pp. PLUS 1 - 12"x12" photo print from Ann's collection, matted - choose from selection shown at the end of the "Story" portion of this campaign

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Tea with Ann at her apartment in Santa Rosa - discuss her life, see her extensive collection of memorabilia collected during a life well-lived; AND a DVD of the movie taken by Ann's father, Warwick Tompkins, of their trip around Cape Horn; OR "Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" - book by Ann Tompkins and Lincoln Cushing - a full-color collection of more than 150 posters of cultural celebration, industrial development, agricultural production and revolutionary heroes - published in 2007 - 144 pp.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Book - "China's Millions" by Anna Louise Strong and autographed by her for Ann's parents

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    4 button set of Socialist icons

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Funding period

- (60 days)