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Who Will Shout If Not Us?: Student Activists and the Tiananmen Square Protest, China, 1989
     

Who Will Shout If Not Us?: Student Activists and the Tiananmen Square Protest, China, 1989

by Ann Kerns
 

In the blink of an eye, the tank was approaching the sidewalk and closing in on me. It seemed as if the barrel of its gun was inches from my face. I could not dodge it in time. Fang Zheng, a student demonstrator at Tiananmen Square In the spring of 1989, university students in Beijing grabbed world headlines with a courageous stand against decades of Communist

Overview

In the blink of an eye, the tank was approaching the sidewalk and closing in on me. It seemed as if the barrel of its gun was inches from my face. I could not dodge it in time. Fang Zheng, a student demonstrator at Tiananmen Square In the spring of 1989, university students in Beijing grabbed world headlines with a courageous stand against decades of Communist authoritarian rule in China. Thousands and then millions of students and workers from all over China gathered on the city's Tiananmen Square to support demands for democracy, clean government, and increased personal freedoms. China's premier, Li Peng, and his supporters wanted to crush the demonstration, and the government declared martial law on May 12. The world watched as army tanks and troops reached the city center on June 2. Soldiers fired their guns as students struggled to flee. A single demonstrator captured international attention as viewers around the globe watched him face off against encroaching military tanks. The army was in control of Beijing, and thousands of demonstrators were killed, wounded, or arrested. In this gripping story of a historic clash between repressive government forces and individuals seeking freedom, we'll explore the reasons that led students in China to defy authority. We'll learn the details of their demands and of the shattering events that followed when they took to the streets to press for their civil rights.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Catherine Gilmore-Clough
It is a challenging job to try to set a civil rights struggle in a cultural and historical context; however, the various authors of the books in the series "Civil Rights Struggles Around the World" strive to do so. In Who Will Shout If Not Us?, Kerns provides a brief description of China's early history before delving into the 20th century narrative that sets the stage for student revolts. Key characters and movements are detailed, along with sidebars that highlight their importance and provide easy reference for unfamiliar names or key concepts. Other titles in the series display the same careful research and well-organized information. Plenty of photographs and the sidebars with relevant information create visual variety, though occasionally sidebars cover two facing pages and awkwardly disrupt the flow of the main text. The commendable back matter, which includes a useful time line of events and a decent glossary, also contains a "who's who" that reiterates the prominent people and provides a solid paragraph of biographical information. Though these titles are notable for the level of care in both their content and production, they remain resources that only a limited audience will be likely to turn to, and then only when needed for research. Reviewer: Catherine Gilmore-Clough
Children's Literature - Ann Sanger
While reading the background information about the Chinese Communist Party, I became engrossed with the workings of the party and the internal leadership tensions. Demanding political party reform, thousands of students camped on the Tiananmen Square for six weeks. The leaders of the protests were educated youths-university and college students. The students were seeking a dialogue with party officials. Hunger strikes and arrests took place while the government and students played the waiting game. Photographs show residents of Beijing blocking truckloads of the soldiers from the Square. Soldiers tried to force their way past the citizens; both sides grew angrier and more emotional. Molotov Cocktails were hurled at the tanks. Soldiers threw tear gas into the crowds. On Chang'an Blvd just outside the Forbidden City, an armored personnel carrier became separated from the ranks. While trying to return quickly, the tank ran over several protesters. Angry crowd pulled the crew out of the APC, killed them in view of the People's Liberation Army and set fire to the vehicle. The PLA began firing into the crowds and buildings, injuring people in their homes and hotels. On June 5, 1989, the world watched via television cameras as a single man stepped off the curb and stopped directly in the tanks' path. Full color photos document the events and a detailed timeline is included in the back of the book. Kerns presents the facts with fairness. The book would be a great resource for students and teachers. Reviewer: Ann Sanger

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822589716
Publisher:
Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/01/2010
Series:
Civil Rights Struggles around the World Series
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
6.35(w) x 8.53(h) x 0.54(d)
Lexile:
1010L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Ann Kerns has edited many nonfiction books for young readers and is the author of Australia in Pictures, Romania in Pictures, Martha Stewart, Troy, Who Will Shout If Not Us?: Student Activists and the Tiananmen Square Protest, and Did Castles Have Bathrooms?: And Other Questions about the Middle Ages. She enjoys reading, travel, cooking, and music. A native of Illinois, she is a transplant to Minneapolis.

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