Customer Reviews for

Life and Death in Shanghai

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    One of the best books I ever read!

    This book was given to me to read when I was in tenth grade by a social studies teacher. At the time I was not much of a reader, but I took it with me on spring break and decided to give it a try. I could not put it down. It was such an inspirational story about a situation I had never understood. It remains one of my favorite books of all time. I gave the book back so he could share it with other students. I recently pirchased my own copy of the novel. It holds a special place.in my book collection. I have read it twice more in the 20 years that have passed and still find the narrator and author to be totally inspiring and riveting. Give it a try. If you like historical nonfiction and the will of a person to survive under extremely difficult odds this book may inspire you too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2006

    An Unforgetable Book

    I read this book many years ago, shortly after it was published. I was actually brought to tears when the red guard was destroying the art pieces in her home and she pleaded with these young people to just take them for themselves instead of destroying them. She told them that this was their culture. China. But they could not understand or appreciate what deserved respect. It was painful and frightening. This book is well written. I could feel the pain from a woman with so much self dicipline. I am buying this book for my grandson who just turned 14.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2004

    An incredible INSPIRING book and definetly worth your time.

    My grandma gave me this life changing book when I was about 14. I read it in a couple of days because I loved it so much. I love reading inspired books and books that change my perspective on life and this is definately one of my favorite! This lady who, even though she wasn't foreign, she was persecuted during the Chinese Revolution. Her courage during a time of major trials and sadness helped me be grateful for what I have. This book is definetly a 'HAVE TO' read book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2002

    A realistic picture of the cultural revolution for those of us on the outside.

    I am an American and have lived in mainland China for the last 2 years. I studied as much as I could about China before I went there. This book helped me to get a picture of what happened during the cultural revolution in a way no history book could. I believe that there are many older people still living in china who could write similiar books but do not dare to do so. Or, as one woman told me, 'it was just too painful' to talk or write about that time. If you want to really understand China's fairly recent past this is a definite book to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    To See What Is Right And Not Do It Is A Want Of Courage Or Principle - Nien Cheng

    "Life and Death in Shanghai" was written by a woman who looks as delicate as a sparrow, has a voice like a distant, tinkling bell, and moves with the light grace of a ballerina. Everything about her is cultured, and spending time with her reminds you of how much the Chinese value "li," politeness. Yet the masters of torture in the Red Guard imprisoned this widow and her teenaged daughter, Mei Peng, for seven years, as Nien was considered "tao feng," the enemy. Why? Because she came from a Mandarin family. When Chairman Mao instigated the Cultural Revolution, he not only bored people to death quoting his quotations, he massacred everyone he didn't consider peasants. Jade carvers, for example, had their hands cut off, as they worked for the upper classes. Nien was in solitary confinement except for a tiny spider. However, one day the spider died, and, in a deeply touching scene, she mourned her only companion. One idea sustained her through an ordeal that killed most or drove them insane: her daughter, Mei Peng. Nien had to stay alive for the day she and Mei Peng would be free again. One day Nien was released, but I won't continue. All I will say is this story is one of the world's great classics, beautifully written in prose as clear as her bell-like voice. The vastness of her intelligence comes through in every sentence, and the huge breadth of her humanity. All people should read this book. - Ann Seymour, author of "I've Always Loved You," a true story of ww2 in the Pacific

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  • Posted May 31, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing account of life in China during the Cultural Revolution

    I grew up with during the 70's, with opinions formed by media propaganda. I never knew how much I didn't know until I read this book. This should be mandatory reading in college and perhaps even in high school.
    Thanks to a woman far more courageous and honest than I ever thought to be for enlightening me. Thank you Nien Cheng.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2005

    Amazing book

    Nien Cheng's account of the occurances in the Cultural Revolution is so vivid that the reader engages in a very realistic journey with her. The events of her life make the reader wish that they would soon be over to relieve her of the pain but it is nonetheless captivating. Every reader should include this to his or her list since it is an inspiring book that will remain with the reader forever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2003

    Great non-fiction novel for high school students!

    I use this book with my AP Human Geography students as supplemental reading material. My students find Nien Cheng's story gripping, fascinating and unbelievable. It gives so much information about Mao Zedong's China and the harsh treatments some of his people received under his rule. It is a great addition to my class and one that makes my students greatful to live in the U.S.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2001

    Extraordinary

    This is one of the best books I ever read. It is for example much more informative than a book like 'Wild Swans'. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand communist China yesterday and today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 1999

    Marvelous account of a political prisoner

    I usually do not read biographies, however, the title struck me and I could hardly put this down once I had started. Ms. Cheng gives a riviting account of her time in china and in prison as a political prisoner. She has a incredible memory and is able to give nearly verbatim accounts of some of the periods she spent in questioning. I brought it home and my father read in within a few evenings, he too thought it a remarkable work, and he is one of the most well read individuals I know, there is hardly a bio he has not read.

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    Posted March 9, 2009

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    Posted January 4, 2011

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    Posted December 7, 2009

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    Posted January 4, 2012

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    Posted November 11, 2011

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    Posted January 5, 2013

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