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My Two Chinas: The Memoir of a Chinese Counterrevolutionary Hardcover – March 22, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


" . . . beautifully written . . . Tang fully embraces the poetry and stories of China . . . His book is both a history lesson and a heart-wrenching read." -- Publishers Weekly

"A mesmerizing and important book." -- The Sudbury Star (Ontario, Canada)

"One can make sweeping statements about China, and they will probably be at least partially true. But a higher level of truth is found in the day-to-day experiences of someone like Baiqiao Tang. Although he writes mostly about his native Hunan Province, this is the story of China. Tang's grandfather used to complain about the decline of the writing skills of his countrymen. Too bad he isn't alive to enjoy his grandson's beautifully written autobiography, which reads almost like a novel. I couldn't set it down." --Professor James D. Seymour of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, expert on China and Tibet, author of New Ghosts, Old Ghosts: Prisons and Labor Reform Camps in China

"There are many Chinese—more than a billion of them—but there are relatively few to speak for them: to speak for their rights, their dignity, and their freedom. Baiqiao Tang is one such person. He speaks, not only for himself, but for masses of his countrymen, who are gagged. If the Communist dictatorship in China ever falls, Tang will be one of those who gave it a hard, wonderful push." --Jay Nordlinger, senior editor of National Review

"My Two Chinas is beautifully written. . . . The bravery shown by Tang and other Chinese students who stood up to the Communist Chinese government was extraordinary. Their story deserves to be known. This is the place to start." --Edward I. Koch, former mayor of New York City (1978 1989), influential political commentator

"My Two Chinas is one of the most moving, witty, and entertaining memoirs to come out of China since the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations, a graceful collaboration between a splendid mind that yearns for a free China and the sure pen of his English collaborator. As we travel with Baiqiao Tang, one of China's most famous dissidents, through his days of demonstration, flight, imprisonment, and exile, we are reminded of the rule of terror that lies behind China's growing military and economic might. The next time that economy compels you to buy something made in China, do penance by picking up a copy of this book as well." --Steven W. Mosher, president of Population Research Institute, author of A Mother's Ordeal, China Misperceived, Journey to the Forbidden China, and Broken Earth

"Over the years, I've watched many American pundits, corporate executives, and politicians kowtow to China on any number of issues—from China's Internet censorship and theft of intellectual property to currency manipulation and attacks on the Pentagon. These cowards should draw courage from the example of a man like Baiqiao Tang—who stood up for democracy and freedom in the belly of the Communist beast and, miraculously, has lived to tell us all about it." --Peter Navarro, author of The Coming China Wars, professor of economics and public policy, Merage School of Business, University of California-Irvine

"In the face of oppression most people cower; a few cannot. Baiqiao Tang acted in 1989 and still strives to change China today. His struggle teaches us much about the transformation of ordinary people into extraordinary human beings. This is the amazing story of one man's journey of constant confrontation and his unbreakable spirit. To read it helps you understand the many nameless and faceless men and women standing up every day to China's persistent repression." --Jeffrey Fiedler, US China Economic Security and Review Commission

"In a rare glimpse into the chaotic nature of the June 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, activist Tang (Anthems of Defeat: Crackdown in Hunan Province 1989 - 1992), charged and imprisoned afterward as a "counter-revolutionary," recounts the painful experiences of his rise to become one of China's most outspoken dissidents....China's government has gone to extraordinary lengths to erase Tiananmen Square from the memory of its people.

VERDICT An insightful look into the conditions in China's hidden prison systems... Recommended." --Library Journal

About the Author

Baiqiao Tang (New York, NY) is the chair of the China Peace and Democracy Federation and the author of Anthems of Defeat (Human Rights Watch, 1992) and numerous articles in such publications as Columbia University’s Journal of the School of International and Public Affairs, The Secret China, Liberty Times, Open magazine, and the Epoch Times. He has also been a special commentator for Radio Free Asia, New Dynasty TV, and other programs. He is frequently interviewed by national and international media, including ABC, NBC, the BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and other media outlets.

Damon DiMarco (New York, NY) is the author of Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11, with a foreword by 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas H. Kean, and Shock and Awe: Soldiers’ Voices from the Front Lines in Iraq. He is the coauthor with Roy Simmons of Out of Bounds: Coming Out of Sexual Abuse, Addiction, and My Life of Lies in the NFL Closet. Mr. DiMarco is also an actor. He has written two books on acting, and has taught the subject at colleges, trade schools, and in private sessions.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; First Edition edition (March 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616144459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616144456
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,934,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was borrowing this book and just ordered my own to pass around to everyone I know. A tragic and uplifting story well told that should become required reading in high school. Trust me those Christmas decorations at WalMart will never look the same.
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Format: Hardcover
My Two Chinas is the autobiography of Biaqiao Tan. Biaqiao Tang was one of the many student leaders leading up to the Tiananmen Square protests. Tang was an important figure in the student movement, but by his own assessment, he was not one of the major figures. Despite his relatively modest role in the student movement, he still suffered the full wrath of the Chinese government.

Tang was imprisoned for years for his peaceful protests . Tang's experience is prison was brutal. The torture he endured and observed was horrific. Given the graphic nature of the abuse he recounts, "Two Chinas" is not suitable reading for juveniles.

Tang's dissent not only lost him his freedom, but his family relationships -- even when he was out of prison -- suffered irreparable harm. He endured years of suffering just because he engaged in peaceful protests and advocated for modest reforms (one of the students' demand was for better food in the cafeteria).

His story reminds us how autocratic and oppressive authoritarian regimes really can be. For that "reminder", and for the easy-to-read, but compelling, telling of his own life story, Tang's Two Chinas is a worthwhile read.
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Format: Hardcover
My Two Chinas is a book that works on many levels. It's a classic coming of age tale, a lesson in how the love of freedom can be found in the darkest of places, a harrowing adventure, and a yes, even a love story. Mostly it's just a great read and I finished on in a single flight to Shanghai.
It is also an amazingly timely book as we see a second wave of freedom and people-power breaking out across the globe. A new generation of young people are standing up and declaring themselves fully human in the very same way Baiqiao and his compatriots did. Some of them will succeed, some of them will fail, and many of them may die. Reading My Two Chinas helps readers who have never lived outside the comfortable world of liberty understand why such personal sacrifice is offered, regardless of the outcome.

My Two Chinas should be required reading for every European or American businessperson or politician heading to Chengdu or Shenzhen to make a deal. Baiqiao Tang and Damon DiMarco have given Westerners a gift of moral context we must not ignore: The profits we make off of China' state capitalism and the cheap goods we enjoy have had a very real human cost and China's power structure has not changed in any meaningful way since the tragic events of 1989.
It is only the Party's marketing department has been vastly improved.

The China we visit today or see on the news is a message as carefully crafted as any Disney attraction. The paint is replaced daily with censorship, repression, and intimidation. Tang and DiMarco peel back that facade and illuminate the darkness behind with the powerful light of one young man's courage.
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