Red China Blues

Red China Blues

My Long March From Mao to Now

Book - 1997
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Jan Wong, a Canadian of Chinese descent, went to China as a starry-eyed Maoist in 1972 at the height of the Cultural Revolution. A true believer--and one of only two Westerners permitted to enroll at Beijing University--her education included wielding a pneumatic drill at the Number One Machine Tool Factory. In the name of the Revolution, she renounced rock & roll, hauled pig manure in the paddy fields, and turned in a fellow student who sought her help in getting to the United States. She also met and married the only American draft dodger from the Vietnam War to seek asylum in China.

Red China Blues is Wong's startling--and ironic--memoir of her rocky six-year romance with Maoism (which crumbled as she became aware of the harsh realities of Chinese communism); her dramatic firsthand account of the devastating Tiananmen Square uprising; and her engaging portrait of the individuals and events she covered as a correspondent in China during the tumultuous era of capitalist reform under Deng Xiaoping. In a frank, captivating, deeply personal narrative she relates the horrors that led to her disillusionment with the "worker's paradise." And through the stories of the people--an unhappy young woman who was sold into marriage, China's most famous dissident, a doctor who lengthens penises--Wong reveals long-hidden dimensions of the world's most populous nation.

In setting out to show readers in the Western world what life is like in China, and why we should care, she reacquaints herself with the old friends--and enemies of her radical past, and comes to terms with the legacy of her ancestral homeland.
Publisher: Toronto : Doubleday/Anchor Books, 1997, c1996
ISBN: 9780385482325
0385482329
9780385476799
0385476795
Branch Call Number: 951.05/WON

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m
maxmillan
Dec 15, 2015

Thoroughly enjoyed this book as it opened my eyes to what really happened in China during the tale end of the Communist Revolution. For example, a sit-in at Tiananmen Square where students were fasting to protest the government were not exactly fasting but their efforts are, nevertheless, brave. The true opinions of people too afraid to comment publicly.

y
Yaba
Feb 27, 2012

A taste of modern Chinese history and culture.

Jan Wong is incredibly interesting, brave, naive, kind, cruel, and brilliant. An honestly written piece of literature.

h
haPPY_FUn_baLL
Nov 01, 2010

A very interesting insight on Communist China from early 70's to the Tiananmen Square protests. The author recalls her experiences in a way the average Canadian can relate. She tells it as it happened, even when her actions may be embarrassing, foolish or immature in hindsight.

r
ralphdyer
Sep 13, 2010

read early 2010

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