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Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now by [Jan Wong]

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Red China Blues: My Long March From Mao to Now Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 97 ratings

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Length: 418 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This superb memoir is like no other account of life in China under both Mao and Deng. Wong is a Canadian ethnic Chinese who, in 1972, at the height of the cultural revolution, was one of the first undergraduate foreigners permitted to study at Beijing University. Filled with youthful enthusiasms for Mao's revolution, she was an oddity: a Westerner who embraced Maoism, appeared to be Chinese and wished to be treated as one, although she didn't speak the language. She set herself to become fluent, refused special consideration, shared her fellow-students rations and housing, their required stints in industry and agriculture and earnestly tried to embrace the Little Red Book. Although Wong felt it her duty to turn in a fellow student who asked for help to emigrate to the West, she could not repress continual shock at conditions of life, and by the time she was nearly expelled from China for an innocent friendship with a "foreigner," much of her enthusiasm, which lasted six years, had eroded. In 1988, returning as a reporter for the Toronto Globe Mail, she was shocked once again, this time by the rapid transformations of the society under Deng's exhortation: "to be rich is glorious." Her account is informed by her special background, a cold eye, a detail. Her description of the events at Tiananmen Square, which occurred on her watch, is, like the rest of the book, unique, powerful and moving.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

A crackerjack journalist's (she's a George Polk Award winner) immensely entertaining and enlightening account of what she learned during several extended sojourns in the People's Republic of China. A second-generation Canadian who enjoyed a sheltered, even privileged, childhood in Montreal, Wong nonetheless developed a youthful crush on Mao Zedong's brand of Communism. She first visited China in 1972 on summer holiday from McGill University. Although the PRC was still convulsed by the so-called Cultural Revolution, the starry-eyed author enrolled in Beijing University and remained in the country for 15 months. Emotionally bloodied but unbowed by quotidian contact with the harsher realities of Maoism, Bright Precious Wong (as she was known to fellow students and party cadres) mastered Chinese and searched for ways to express solidarity with the masses. Leaving the PRC only long enough to earn a degree from McGill, the author returned in the fall of 1974 for a lengthy stay that made her increasingly aware of Chinese Communism's contradictions and evils. Disturbing encounters with dissidents raised her consciousness of the regime's oppressive policies. Although her zeal diminished, Wong soldiered on, eventually acquiring an American spouse (perhaps the only US draft dodger to seek asylum in the PRC) and a correspondent's job with the New York Times. When President Carter pardoned Vietnam War resisters, the author and her husband came back to North America. She returned to China in 1988 as the Beijing bureau chief of The Toronto Globe & Mail. Experiencing something akin to culture shock at the changes wrought by Deng Xioaping's capitalist-road programs, Wong was an eyewitness to the bloody Tiananmen Square confrontation. She ferreted out long-suppressed truths about penal colonies, the use of prisoners as unpaid laborers, and the public execution of criminals. Tellingly detailed recollections of the journeys of an observant and engaged traveler through interesting times. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • File Size : 4569 KB
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print Length : 418 pages
  • Publication Date : December 14, 2011
  • Language: : English
  • Publisher : Anchor; Anchor Books ed. Edition (December 14, 2011)
  • ASIN : B006F1YLJY
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 97 ratings