The Cowshed

Author: Ji Xianlin
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590179277
Size: 26.44 MB
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The Chinese Cultural Revolution began in 1966 and led to a ten-year-long reign of Maoist terror throughout China, in which millions died or were sent to labor camps in the country or subjected to other forms of extreme discipline and humiliation. Ji Xianlin was one of them. The Cowshed is Ji’s harrowing account of his imprisonment in 1968 on the campus of Peking University and his subsequent disillusionment with the cult of Mao. As the campus spirals into a political frenzy, Ji, a professor of Eastern languages, is persecuted by lecturers and students from his own department. His home is raided, his most treasured possessions are destroyed, and Ji himself must endure hours of humiliation at brutal “struggle sessions.” He is forced to construct a cowshed (a makeshift prison for intellectuals who were labeled class enemies) in which he is then housed with other former colleagues. His eyewitness account of this excruciating experience is full of sharp irony, empathy, and remarkable insights into a central event in Chinese history. In contemporary China, the Cultural Revolution remains a delicate topic, little discussed, but if a Chinese citizen has read one book on the subject, it is likely to be Ji’s memoir. When The Cowshed was published in China in 1998, it quickly became a bestseller. The Cultural Revolution had nearly disappeared from the collective memory. Prominent intellectuals rarely spoke openly about the revolution, and books on the subject were almost nonexistent. By the time of Ji’s death in 2009, little had changed, and despite its popularity, The Cowshed remains one of the only testimonies of its kind. As Zha Jianying writes in the introduction, “The book has sold well and stayed in print. But authorities also quietly took steps to restrict public discussion of the memoir, as its subject continues to be treated as sensitive. The present English edition, skillfully translated by Chenxin Jiang, is hence a welcome, valuable addition to the small body of work in this genre. It makes an important contribution to our understanding of that period.”

The Cowshed

Author: Xianlin Ji
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590179269
Size: 69.85 MB
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In contemporary China, the Cultural Revolution remains a delicate topic, little discussed, but if a Chinese citizen has read one book on the subject, it is likely to be Ji's memoir. When The Cowshed was published in China in 1998, it quickly became a bestseller. The Cultural Revolution had nearly disappeared from the collective memory. Prominent intellectuals rarely spoke openly about the revolution, and books on the subject were almost nonexistent. By the time of Ji's death in 2009, little had changed, and despite its popularity, The Cowshed remains one of the only testimonies of its kind.

Blood Red Sunset

Author: Bo Ma
Publisher: Penguin Mass Market
ISBN:
Size: 21.33 MB
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In a startlingly vivid, strangely objective, personal narrative, Ma Bo, who was denounced as an "active counterrevolutionary" in 1968, opens a window on the Chinese psyche that no work of history can provide, telling a passionate tale of a humanity that survives against all odds--a tale of ideology and disillusionment that will speak to all readers.

The Killing Wind

Author: Guo Jian
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190622520
Size: 70.13 MB
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Over the course of 66 days in 1967, more than 9,000 Chinese "class enemies" - including young children and the elderly - were murdered in Dao, a county in the Hunan province. Commonly known as the Daoxian massacre, the killings were one of the many acts of mass violence and radicalism thatrocked China during the Cultural Revolution. However, in spite of the scope and brutality of the killings, there are few detailed accounts of what took place on the ground. Years after the massacre, writer and editor Tan Hecheng was sent to Dao to report on the official investigation into the killings. Unable to publish his findings in China, in The Killing Wind he provides a first-hand investigation of the atrocities, exploring how and why the massacre took place. Tanblends his research with the recollections of survivors, offering a vivid account of the massacre and its aftermath. Dispelling much of Mao Zedong's mythos of peasant revolution, Tan reveals that the killings were unprovoked, and carried out with stomach-churning brutality. Far from the tyrannicallandlords depicted in revolutionary propaganda, most of the victims were hard-working, peaceful people who were technically considered part of the rural middle class. Other victims were peasants themselves, targeted because they had offended their killers in political or financial disputes. More than a catalog of horrors, Tan also offers a poignant meditation on memory, moral culpability, and the failure of the Chinese government to come to terms with the crimes of the Maoist era. By painting a detailed portrait of the massacres, The Killing Wind makes a broader argument about the longterm consequences of one of the twentieth century's greatest human tragedies. A compelling testament to the victims and survivors of the Daoxian massacre, The Killing Wind is a monument to historical truth, one that fills an immense gap in our understanding of Mao, the Cultural Revolution, and thestatus of truth in contemporary China.

Ancestral Leaves

Author: Joseph W. Esherick
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520947622
Size: 46.34 MB
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Ancestral Leaves follows one family through six hundred years of Chinese history and brings to life the epic narrative of the nation, from the fourteenth century through the Cultural Revolution. The lives of the Ye family—"Ye" means "leaf" in Chinese—reveal the human side of the large-scale events that shaped modern China: the vast and destructive rebellions of the nineteenth century, the economic growth and social transformation of the republican era, the Japanese invasion during World War II, and the Cultural Revolution under the Chinese Communists. Joseph W. Esherick draws from rare manuscripts and archival and oral history sources to provide an uncommonly personal and intimate glimpse into Chinese family history, illuminating the changing patterns of everyday life during rebellion, war, and revolution.

The Most Wanted Man In China

Author: Fang Lizhi
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 1627795006
Size: 42.46 MB
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The long-awaited memoir by Fang Lizhi, the celebrated physicist whose clashes with the Chinese regime helped inspire the Tiananmen Square protests Fang Lizhi was one of the most prominent scientists of the People's Republic of China; he worked on the country's first nuclear program and later became one of the world's leading astrophysicists. His devotion to science and the pursuit of truth led him to question the authority of the Communist regime. That got him in trouble. In 1957, after advocating reforms in the Communist Party, Fang -- just twenty-one years old -- was dismissed from his position, stripped of his Party membership, and sent to be a farm laborer in a remote village. Over the next two decades, through the years of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, he was alternately denounced and rehabilitated, revealing to him the pettiness, absurdity, and horror of the regime's excesses. He returned to more normal work in academia after the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, but the cycle soon began again. This time his struggle became a public cause, and his example helped inspire the Tiananmen Square protests. Immediately after the crackdown in June 1989, Fang and his wife sought refuge in the U.S. embassy, where they hid for more than a year before being allowed to leave the country. During that time Fang wrote this memoir The Most Wanted Man in China, which has never been published, until now. His story, told with vivid detail and disarming humor, is a testament to the importance of remaining true to one's principles in an unprincipled time and place.

Naked Earth

Author: Eileen Chang
Publisher: New York Review of Books
ISBN: 1590178351
Size: 69.95 MB
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An NYRB Classics Original Set in the early years of Mao’s China, Naked Earth is the story of two earnest young people confronting the grim realities of revolutionary change. Liu Ch’üan and Su Nan meet in the countryside after volunteering to assist in the new land reform program. Eager to build a more just society, they are puzzled and shocked by the brutality, barely disguised corruption, and ruthless careerism they discover, but then quickly silenced by the barrage of propaganda and public criticism that is directed at anyone who appears to doubt a righteous cause. Joined together by the secret of their common dismay, they remain in touch when Liu departs to work on a newspaper in Peking, where Su Nan eventually also moves. Something like love begins to grow between them—but then a new round of purges sweeps through the revolutionary ranks. One of the greatest and most loved of modern Chinese writers, Eileen Chang illuminates the dark corners of the human existence with a style of disorienting beauty. Naked Earth, unavailable in English for more than fifty years, is a harrowing tale of perverted ideals, damaged souls, deepest loneliness, and terror.

The Cultural Revolution

Author: Frank Dikötter
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1408856514
Size: 18.58 MB
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Acclaimed by the Daily Mail as 'definitive and harrowing' , this is the final volume of 'The People's Trilogy', begun by the Samuel Johnson prize-winning Mao's Great Famine. After the economic disaster of the Great Leap Forward that claimed tens of millions of lives between 1958 and 1962, an ageing Mao launched an ambitious scheme to shore up his reputation and eliminate those he viewed as a threat to his legacy. The stated goal of the Cultural Revolution was to purge the country of bourgeois, capitalist elements he claimed were threatening genuine communist ideology. But the Chairman also used the Cultural Revolution to turn on his colleagues, some of them longstanding comrades-in-arms, subjecting them to public humiliation, imprisonment and torture. Young students formed Red Guards, vowing to defend the Chairman to the death, but soon rival factions started fighting each other in the streets with semi-automatic weapons in the name of revolutionary purity. As the country descended into chaos, the military intervened, turning China into a garrison state marked by bloody purges that crushed as many as one in fifty people. When the army itself fell victim to the Cultural Revolution, ordinary people used the political chaos to resurrect the marked and hollow out the party's ideology. In short, they buried Maoism. In-depth interviews and archival research at last give voice to the people and the complex choices they faced, undermining the picture of conformity that is often understood to have characterised the last years of Mao's regime. By demonstrating that decollectivisation from below was an unintended consequence of a decade of violent purges and entrenched fear, Frank Dikotter casts China's most tumultuous era in a wholly new light. Written with unprecedented access to previously classified party documents from secret police reports to unexpurgated versions of leadership speeches, this third chapter in Frank Dikotter's extraordinarily lucid and ground-breaking 'People's Trilogy' is a devastating reassessment of the history of the People's Republic of China.

The Big Red Book Of Modern Chinese Literature Writings From The Mainland In The Long Twentieth Century

Author: Yunte Huang
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393248739
Size: 38.98 MB
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A panoramic vision of the Chinese literary landscape across the twentieth century. Award-winning literary scholar and poet Yunte Huang here gathers together an intimate and authoritative selection of significant works, in outstanding translations, from nearly fifty Chinese writers, that together express a search for the soul of modern China. From the 1912 overthrow of a millennia-long monarchy to the Cultural Revolution, to China’s rise as a global military and economic superpower, the Chinese literary imagination has encompassed an astonishing array of moods and styles—from sublime lyricism to witty surrealism, poignant documentary to the ironic, the transgressive, and the defiant. Huang provides the requisite context for these revelatory works of fiction, poetry, essays, letters, and speeches in helpful headnotes, chronologies, and brief introductions to the Republican, Revolutionary, and Post-Mao Eras. From Lu Xun’s Call to Arms (1923) to Gao Xinjiang’s Nobel Prize–winning Soul Mountain (1990), this remarkable anthology features writers both known and unknown in its celebration of the versatility of writing. From belles lettres to literary propaganda, from poetic revolution to pulp fiction, The Big Red Book of Modern Chinese Literature is an eye-opening, mesmerizing, and indispensable portrait of China in the tumultuous twentieth century.

Born Red

Author: Yuan Gao
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804765898
Size: 78.41 MB
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Born Red is an artistically wrought personal account, written very much from inside the experience, of the years 1966-1969, when the author was a young teenager at middle school. It was in the middle schools that much of the fury of the Cultural Revolution and Red Guard movement was spent, and Gao was caught up in very dramatic events, which he recounts as he understood them at the time. Gao's father was a county political official who was in and out of trouble during those years, and the intense interplay between father and son and the differing perceptions and impact of the Cultural Revolution for the two generations provide both an unusual perspective and some extraordinary moving moments. He also makes deft use of traditional mythology and proverbial wisdom to link, sometimes ironically, past and present. Gao relates in vivid fashion how students-turned-Red Guards held mass rallies against 'capitalist roader' teachers and administrators, marching them through the streets to the accompaniment of chants and jeers and driving some of them to suicide. Eventually the students divided into two factions, and school and town became armed camps. Gao tells of the exhilaration that he and his comrades experienced at their initial victories, of their deepening disillusionment as they utter defeat as the tumultuous first phase of the Cultural Revolution came to a close. The portraits of the persons to whom Gao introduces us - classmates, teachers, family members - gain weight and density as the story unfolds, so that in the end we see how they all became victims of the dynamics of a mass movement out of control.