Online Read Wild Swans Three Daughters of China – thetributepages.co.uk
Who would make the lives of the people better Another sneaky thing the Communists did while the Nationalists were busy fighting the Japanese they intensified their propaganda and brought the people over to their side
Anyway as you may know neither side comes out smelling like a roseNeed to finish At first as you may know neither side comes out smelling like a roseNeed to finish At first did not want to voice my opinion of this book since it cut so near to the bone and was such a profound shock to read in 1993 It was however the first book after reading Isabelle Allende that kept me awake for several weeks afterwards No other book ever managed to achieve thatIt certainly is a depressing book no beating around the bush about that but also such a courageous introduction to a life of people shut away behind the veil of communism My overall impression of the book was that it must have been eually painful for the author to write it as it was for her family three generations of women to endure the horrific takeover of Mao Tse Tung in China As with all Communist rhetoric so many noble promises were made to people freedom of oppression being the biggest and innocent poor people believed enough in the idea to die for it Those who did not want to accept it were killed as well in their millionsHowever people such as Jung s father who staunchly believed that it would bring change for the good staggered back in horror when the first real implications of Communism hit their lives Freedom was the first privilege to be revoked on all levels of human existence All intellectuals against the revolution were either interned or killed They all lost their jobs and their standing and their respect in society were publicly destroyed They were declared enemies of the stateThe eualization of society also did not happen seamlessly and the population would soon find out what it really entailed The educational and health systems crashed completely Expropriation of land was part of the plan Landowners were brutally murdered land grabbing became the order of the day Land redistribution soon led to the most staggering overgrazing and erosion of fertile land over millions of hectares Large parts of China became an instant man made desert Poverty and famine increased substantially and exponentially Thirty million people died of hunger alone which was a well kept secret for almost forty yearsJung Chang writes on p166 Although the Communists were apposed to torture in theory and on principle officials were told that they should not intervene if the peasant wished to vent their anger in passionate acts of revengeagainst the farm owners People such as Jin were not just wealthy owners of land but had wielded absolute and arbituary power which they indulged in willfully over the lives of the local population They were called e ba ferocious despotsIn some areas the killing extended to ordinary landlords who were called stones obstacles to the revolution Policy towards the stones was When in doubt kill My father thought this was wrong and told his subordinates and public meetings that only those who nuestionably had blood on their hands should be sentenced to death In his reports to his superiors he repeatedly said that the Party should be careful with human lives and that excessive executions would only harm the revolution It was partly because many people like my father spoke The Surgeons Miracle / Dr Angelos Baby Bombshell up that in February 1948 the Communist leadership issuedrgent instructions to stop the violent excesses The necklacesburning tires around an Enemy Of The Revolution S of the revolution s was rampantly sed to kill very often innocent people If someone had a personal grudge against the victim the latter was declared anti
revolutionary and killed after street courts were held It was a method designed and sed by Stalin a few decades and killed after street courts were held It was a method designed and The Best Man in Texas used by Stalin a few decades in Russia and part of the Communist modus operandi to establish their complete control The narrative describes how an entire nation was terrorized traumatized and intimidated into submission by various methods Everybody living in a free country should read this book The only way tonderstand real freedom is to get to know life when it is taken away and almost always by the very same people who sed the idea to win them over to a new dispensation Although it was an exhausting book to read it opened the dark horrible side of the so called freedom fighters and communism to the world It is written in such a way that the history lesson flows easily along the narrative which was compelling You need time for this book and lots of courage However it was beautifully written One of the best books I have ever readThis book changed my life and my choice of books completelyListen to this Podcast with the author about this book. Arlords' regime and overthrow of the Japanese occupation violent struggles between the Kuomintang and the Communists to carve p China and most poignant for the author the vicious cycle of purges orchestrated by Chairman Mao that discredited and crushed millions of people including her parentsIncludes black and white photographsFamily treeChronologyM. Ether for you showing you the differences between her Grandmother s
life her mother s life and her own moving chronologically in her mother s life and her own moving chronologically in manner that makes such good sense I completely followed it despite my absolute dearth of knowledge on the subject of China I wept with her and felt an almost physical pain at the loss of such an ancient culture during the Maoist regime I live in such an easy world with freedoms I don t even consider being thankful for Reading her family s story makes me look with a different perspective at my
own life and the community and culture in which I was raised life and the community and culture in which I was raised want to tell everyone about it How far could Chinese patriarchy go in the early twentieth century to make the lives of women sheer humiliation and misery Here in Wild Swans we have that Beast Of Darkness (Knights of White uestion tidily answered This is a tale of the lives of three generations of Chinese women the author her mother and her grandmother Author Jung Chang s grandmother had her feet bound a hideously painful processndertaken solely so that some man might one day find her lustworthy enough to take as a concubine The years long process of foot binding of smashing the toes with a rock and binding them nder the sole of the foot is thoroughly explained Author Chang s grandmother was thus encrippled and eventually traded off to a general of one of the factions vying for control of the country in 1920 All this so her wretch of a great grandfather Yang could raise his own material status buy land and accumulate concubines I have read of stories purdah the seraglio and Morman four wiving but never have I come across such a harrowing description of the degradation of women that I have found here Mind numbing are the cruel stratagems of the concubines back at the family home to degrade Yang s first wife Chang s great grandmother and freeze her out of her own home I was aware of this social structure before through works by the writers Jonathan Spence Anchee Min Nien Cheng Harry Wu and others but never have I had such a vivid picture of how the first wifeconcubine pecking order played out in the daily life of a Chinese family as I ve had here It is beyond belief Then in 1930 released from her bond of concubinage on the death of the general the grandmother whose name Yu fang translates as jade fragrant flowers falls in love with a Manchu doctor who is determined to marry her as his wife This sends his large family into conniptions since it means Jade will have to be accorded reverence in line with the doctor s strict Manchu standards of filial respect And at 65 he is almost three times her age Perhaps if it weren t for his wealth there would be less of a fuss but a new wife has implications for the eventual distribution of his estate s assets In protest one of his sons shoots himself dead This act of greed for the family is worried only about its own dispossession nothing drives Dr Xia to divide his possessions among his sons and move to a shack on the outskirts of Jinzhou which is a cholera epidemic waiting to happen Yet there he and Jade and the author s mother find some happiness despite the fact that the doctor is penniless and must start at the bottom And all of the above in the book s first 44 pages Next we learn of the horrors committed during the Second Sino Japanese War the Japanese occupation of Manchuria in which Jinzhou is located Dr Mrs Xia are able to save a friend from the Japanese by befriending the prison garroter Dong who promises them not to strangle the man fatally only partially so he ll look dead enough to be transported to the foul smelling communal grave at the end of town There the Xias extract him from a tangle of bodies he s still breathing take him home and nurse him back to health This man Han Chen later goes to work for Kuomintang intelligence where he procures a membership ID for Mrs Xia s son which allows him to avoid military service and keep working in the doctor s medicine shop where he s most needed He even gets Dong a job After the war there were so many saved by Dong from the Japanese reaper in this way that survivors pooled their monies and bought the former executioner a little house for his retirement Heroism takes strange formsThe Japanese were defeated in 1945 and the second and concluding portion of the Chinese Civil War resumed The author s mother now turns out to be this capable community organizer on the Communist side She distributes propaganda The Nationalist bigwigs are seen as corrupt and lacking discipline The Communists were promising the populace things they would never deliver on such as the retention of personal property In Jinzhou the author says the Communists were perceived as innovators. In the early days of Mao's revolution and rose like her husband to a prominent position in the Communist Party before being denounced during the Cultural Revolution Chang herself marched worked and breathed for Mao ntil doubt crept in over the excesses of his policies and purges Born just a few decades apart their lives overlap with the end of the Wild Swans is a candid and account of three remarkable Chinese women grandmother mother and daughter but also gives s a very good picture of what China was like from the turn of the Century to the 1980 sWe learn about the ancient culture of the Chinese which included much that was beautiful and some that seems cruel We learn of the hope of so many Chinese that the overthrow of the Kuomintang would lead to a just social order but how it soon became clear that the worst excesses of the Kuomintang and those of Imperial China before that paled into insignificance compared to
the hell on earth created by Mao s Chinese Communist PartyOne is hell on earth created by Mao s Chinese Communist PartyOne is aghast that a system can destroy even the most basic human instincts of decency and compassion while turning people into inhumane monsters totally possessed as if by a demon by a cruel and totally destructive systemIt sends shivers down one s spine to realise that The Great Helmsman Mao Ze Dong who ranks with Hitler and Stalin as among the most evil men of the 20th century had his image worn on T shirts by progressive students and youth in the west and these same young champions of euality hung large pictures of Mao in their dormitory roomsThis at the same time as millions of Chinese were being slaughtered and physically and psychologically maimed on the orders of Mao and his Chinese Communist Party as described in this bookToday many in the West laud the economic reforms towards a type of totalitarian capitalist system but fail to remember that human rights have not improved at all and China is still a hideous and inhuman hell for hundreds of millions of its inhabitants And the world turns a blind eye While we a re left asking how much longer the people of China will remain enslaved by their inhumane Communist masters How LongBut the book is also about the strength of the human spirit about wonderful people especially the three remarkable women who are the central characters of this book as well as the cruel onesIt is a story of love and hate strength and weakness the beautiful and the glyBut than anything it is about how the human spirit can never in the end be crushed by cruelty evil and tyranny Simply put Wild Swans is a poor man s Life and Death in Shanghai Reason being that that while the initial chapters about Jung Chang s grandmother are informative and interesting as it gives s a peek into the life of people in Pre Communist China as the book progresses Chang s ignorance as she was a little girl at that time about the events happening around her becomes a permanent annoyance I am not saying that Chang was still ignorant about what happened in China during the Great Leap Forward and The Cultural Revolution after she grew p she definitely knows her history but it seems that she has tried her level best to hide that in her book She would write something like My dad was very sad about the things that were happening in China but for me it was very difficult to Taming the Demon (Demon Blade understand it at that time And then she would start talking about something else without even clarifying her point Even with the benefit of hindsight it seems that she never really wanted to write in detail about the causes reactions and outcomes of the events like The Cultural Revolution Her book is what the title itself suggests about three daughters of China but it is only and only about the three daughters of China and I was expecting it to be a little than that Chang took her time to tell her story 700 odd pages in all so it s only fair to expect her to write about China s history but instead she chose to write about the flowers in the garden of the hospital where her father was being treated during the Cultural Revolution Even Mme Mao and her Gang of Four the main perpetrators of The Cultural Revolution gets only a passing mention As a biography Wild Swans is a good book But if you want to read a detailed history of The Cultural Revolution and of China at that time read Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng instead of this book In my opinion Life and Death in Shanghai is the best book written on The Cultural Revolution and also one of the best autobiographies ever written If you are going to read both the books which I did I suggest you start with Wild Swans first which I didn t because if you read Life and Death in Shanghai before reading this book chances are that you might endp appreciating Wild Swans much less than what you might have been predicting at the start One of the most fascinating books I have ever read Not only do I feel I got an honest history of communist China its story plays out like a novel I never wanted to put it down Chang excels at pulling it tog. An alternative cover for this ISBN can be found hereIn Wild Swans Jung Chang recounts the evocative nsettling and insistently gripping story of how three generations of women in her family fared in the political maelstrom of China during the 20th century Chang's grandmother was a warlord's concubine Her gently raised mother struggled with hardships. .