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Black Hands of Beijing: Lives of Defiance in China's Democracy Movement
     

Black Hands of Beijing: Lives of Defiance in China's Democracy Movement

by George Black, Robin Munro
 

A riveting chronicle of Communist oppression and the struggle for democratic reform in China from 1976 to the present. Reveals some of the first details of the years following Tiananmen Square focusing on three leading figures in the democracy movement. Features narratives from scores of other key figures in the movement told in their own words.

Overview

A riveting chronicle of Communist oppression and the struggle for democratic reform in China from 1976 to the present. Reveals some of the first details of the years following Tiananmen Square focusing on three leading figures in the democracy movement. Features narratives from scores of other key figures in the movement told in their own words.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
After the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, China's communist leaders scapegoated ``black hands,'' individuals portrayed as sinister conspirators who supposedly manipulated the masses. Based on scores of interviews with participants in China's democracy movement, this dramatic, absorbing chronicle interweaves the lives of three ``black hands.'' Activist Wang Juntao and social scientist Chen Ziming edited a moderate protest journal and led a ``think tank'' that unsuccessfully tried to mediate the conflict between student protesters and the Communist Party. Falsely accused of masterminding the Tiananmen rally, they are serving long prison terms. Han Dongfang, bold speechmaker at Tiananmen Square, organized communist China's first independent trade union. Tortured in prison, he was recently released and came to the U.S. for medical treatment. Black, foreign affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times , and Munro, China specialist for Human Rights Watch, provide an invaluable glimpse of the regime's methods of repression and of clandestine opposition groups still operating deep underground. (May)
Library Journal
Black and Munro's account of the 1989 democracy movement uses segments of dialog between China's best-known reformers--in particular, Wang Juntao, Chen Ziming, and Han Dongfang--to render a surreal picture of life outside the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) structure, branded as a ``black hand.'' The authors, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and a China specialist for Human Rights Watch, respectively, claim to represent reality, albeit from the points of view of the black hands. The implicit messages are identified quite easily. First, the reformers preached moderation and encouraged the CCP to adopt a civil justice system. Second, because of an inability to ``smash the rice bowl,'' Deng Xiaoping and the CCP were more threatened by workers than students. Third, the democracy movement was affected profoundly by outside influences . The authors graphically describe how dissidents are treated in prison and note the consistent control of individuals in Chinese society. The book reads like fiction despite the authors' impressive research. Recommended.-- Peggy Spitzer Christoff, Oak Park, Ill.
Joe Collins
Black and Munro maintain that the extent of death and destruction at Tiananmen Square was far less than that portrayed by the American media. In their fascinating look at the democracy movement in China, they meticulously trace the dissidents' progress from their protest following the death of Premier Zhou Enlai through the alliance of students and workers and the resultant bloodshed on June 4, 1989, in Tiananmen Square. Blood was let there at the hands of Deng Xiaoping's "red hands" ("black hands" refers to those who were perceived as threats to the ruling party). The leaders of the black hands include the brilliant but humorless Chen Ziming (the idea man for the movement), the charming yet intense Wang Juntao (the action man), and union organizer Han Dongfang, along with many other fiery opposition leaders (including several women). The passion of these dissidents helps the reader understand the evolution of one of the twentieth century's most dramatic protest movements.
Booknews
Black writes a column on foreign affairs for the Los Angeles Times; Munro is a research associate with Asia Watch (a part of the New York City-based organization Human Rights Watch). They seek to bring the drama of modern China alive to a broad audience, using as their vehicle the lives of three people working in China for democracy at great personal sacrifice. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471579779
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
05/03/1993
Series:
Robert L. Bernstein Bks.
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.29(h) x 1.34(d)

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