Automotive Deals HPCC Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it Pink Floyd Fire TV Stick Sun Care Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer CafeSociety CafeSociety CafeSociety  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Introducing new colors All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Water Sports STEM
Customer Review

388 of 407 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Chang's translation for "the Department of Propaganda", December 6, 2007
This review is from: Mao: The Unknown Story (Paperback)
A number of reviews, such as the one titled "Totalitarian mode of argument," have argued more eloquently than I could that this book's patronizing writing and judgmental presentation makes it read like totalitarian propaganda. I wanted to point out another bit of irony that no one else seems to have brought up.

In her previous book, Wild Swans, which has writing I admire but content that could benefit from more honesty, author Jung Chang notes in front that "in order to describe their functions accurately" she has changed the translation of "xuan-chuan-bu" ("the Department of Propaganda") to "the Department of Public Affairs." The author's father, a heroic character in the memoir, had been a co-director in such a department.

Guess how she translates the same "xuan-chuan-bu" in Mao: The Unknown Story? Well, you guessed it. It is changed back to "the Department of Propaganda." Mao once headed such a department. This time Chang does not provide a note on how much she cares about the translation accuracy.

So why the need to deploy hypocrisy?

Because: though Jung Chang was a Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution, and her parents were active and loyal members of the Communist Party, they did nothing bad. They were all good. Objects that were once associated with them must be translated in commendatory terms accordingly. "Love the house, love the crows stopping on its roof."

And: Mao was evil from birth to death. He was all bad. Thus the same objects, when associated with him, must be translated in derogatory terms.

In China we call this "Red Guard language." Jung Chang was a Red Guard at the critical age of learning - and she apparently picked up the language well, even decades of living in the West have not made her drop it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 19, 2008 11:21:25 AM PST
Xujun,

Evidently your review is very popular with the PRC. But consider this:

As of JANUARY 19, 2 P.M. EST the reviewers for Jung Chang's MAO: The Unknown Story read as follow:

236 REVIEWS
97 5 Star 40.8%
43 4 Star 18.5%
20 3 Star 8.5%
21 2 Star 8.9%
55 1 Star 23.4%

People that like the book (anti-Mao readers) outnumber people like you (pro-Mao) about 60% to 30%, or 2 to 1.

But all the reviews that like this book (anti-Mao) get pummeled on voting, while the reviews that hate the book (pro-Mao) get almost unanimous positive votes. The negative reviews of the book usually are in stilted English, and are simply not very well-written, nor are they indicative of having read the book. Xujun, your review does not indicate you read the book, it simply means you object with its content. You exhibit the 'Red Guard' language you so decry. (The Red Guards, themselves, would praise you)

Red Guards loved Mao and beat and killed their dissenters. Jung Chang's parents, and herself were persecuted, and many of her friends died during Mao's rule. Of course Jung Chang is biased, but she's also portraying one of the most evil times in Chinese history, and enough other sources back her up. Her bias can be forgiven. You, Mr. Xujun Xi-gua-tou (melonhead), on the other hand, prove the extent of China's propaganda. (And 197 of 202 positive votes as of today? Yeah, that's real natural)

I don't understand how anyone can defend Mao. And I don't understand why people are so small-minded they think a bunch of useless votes on Amazon is a way to keep pushing their propaganda.

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 7:22:59 AM PDT
Monte Jones says:
I remember back in the 1960's some people argued about the exact number of Jews that Hitler killed. Was it 6 million or only 3 million, as if finding an error in the number of his murders was a vindication of his evil. Mao Zedong killed between 60 million and 120 million people--his own people. He killed friends, he killed enemies, and he just killed to terrorize. Jung Chang's book is one of the best documented biographies ever written. I suggest you read it because you obviously have not.

Posted on May 23, 2015 2:59:25 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 23, 2015 2:59:55 AM PDT]
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Boston, USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 347,855