A new edition of one of the best-selling and best-loved books of recent years. The publication of Wild Swans in 1991 was a worldwide phenomenon. Not only did it become the best-selling non-fiction book in British publishing history, with sales of well over two million, it was received with... read more
Jung Chang is a teen during the reign of Mao. Her autobiography tells of her hardships, her involvementes and her eventual escape during this time period in China. It also tells of her parents and great grandparents involvment in Mao's China, following three generations. This heartwrenching... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Jung Chang is a teen during the reign of Mao. Her autobiography tells of her hardships, her involvementes and her eventual escape during this time period in China. It also tells of her parents and great grandparents involvment in Mao's China, following three generations. This heartwrenching novel is brutally honest and the fact that its non-fiction makes it both harder and better to read. Jung Chang now lives in the U.S and the different way of life is obvious when compared to life in China at that time.
“I loathed these expeditions and hated the fact that our labour, and our whole existance, was being used for a shoddy political game.”Jung Chang
“The restraints which had kept them silent about politics before still prevented them from opening their minds to us. Now it was even less possible to speak. The situation was so complex and confusing that they could not understand it themselves. What could they possibly say to us that would make us understand? And what use would it have been anyway? There was nothing anyone could do. What was more, knowledge itself was dangerous. As a result, my siblings and I were totally unprepared for the Cultural Revoluion, although we had a vague feeling of impending catastrophe.”Jung Chang
The other hallmark of Maoism, it seemed to me, was the reign of ignorance.Highlighted by 12 Kindle customers
The core of his thinking seemed to be that human struggles were the motivating force of history, and that in order to make history 'class enemies' had to be continuously created en masse. I wondered whether there were any other philosophers whose theories had led to the suffering and death of so many. I thought of the terror and misery to which the Chinese population had been subjected. For what?Highlighted by 11 Kindle customers
This absurd situation reflected not only Mao’s ignorance of how an economy worked, but also an almost metaphysical disregard for reality,Highlighted by 9 Kindle customers
The need to obtain authorization for an unspecified 'anything' was to become a fundamental element in Chinese Communist rule. It also meant that people learned not to take any action on their own initiative.Highlighted by 9 Kindle customers
The whole nation slid into doublespeak. Words became divorced from reality, responsibility, and people’s real thoughts. Lies were told with ease because words had lost their meanings—and had ceased to be taken seriously by others.Highlighted by 7 Kindle customers
Because her family was not an intellectual one and did not hold any official post, and because she was a girl, she was not given a name at all. Being the second daughter, she was simply called 'Number Two Girl' (Er-ya-tou).Highlighted by 7 Kindle customers
Throughout Chinese history, when one person was condemned sometimes the entire clan—men, women, and children, even newborn babies—was executed. Execution could extend to cousins nine times removed (zhu-lian jiu-zu). Someone being accused of a crime could endanger the lives of a whole neighborhood.Highlighted by 7 Kindle customers
Wherever we went as we traveled down the Yangtze we saw the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution: temples smashed, statues toppled, and old towns wrecked. Little evidence remained of China’s ancient civilization. But the loss went even deeper than this. Not only had China destroyed most of its beautiful things, it had lost its appreciation of them, and was unable to make new ones. Except for the much-scarred but still stunning landscape, China had become an ugly country.Highlighted by 6 Kindle customers
Following the custom, my great-grandfather was married young, at fourteen, to a woman six years his senior. It was considered one of the duties of a wife to help bring up her husband.Highlighted by 6 Kindle customers
'Where there is a will to condemn, there is evidence,' as the Chinese saying has it.Highlighted by 6 Kindle customers
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