Tiananmen Exiles: Voices of the Struggle for Democracy in China

Tiananmen Exiles: Voices of the Struggle for Democracy in China


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In the spring of 1989, millions of citizens across China took to the streets in a nationwide uprising against government corruption and authoritarian rule. What began with widespread hope for political reform ended with the People's Liberation Army firing on unarmed citizens in the capital city of Beijing, and those leaders who survived the crackdown became wanted criminals overnight. Among the witnesses to this unprecedented popular movement was Rowena Xiaoqing He, who would later join former student leaders and other exiles in North America, where she has worked tirelessly for over a decade to keep the memory of the Tiananmen Movement alive.

This moving oral history interweaves He's own experiences with the accounts of three student leaders exiled from China. Here, in their own words, they describe their childhoods during Mao's Cultural Revolution, their political activism, the bitter disappointments of 1989, and the profound contradictions and challenges they face as exiles. Variously labeled as heroes, victims, and traitors in the years after Tiananmen, these individuals tell difficult stories of thwarted ideals and disconnection, but that nonetheless embody the hope for a freer China and a more just world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781137438317
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan US
Publication date: 04/09/2014
Series: Palgrave Studies in Oral History
Edition description: 2014
Pages: 212
Sales rank: 1,022,557
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Born and raised in China as a member of the "Tiananmen Generation," Rowena Xiaoqing He moved to Canada in 1998, where she received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Today she teaches at Harvard University, where her seminars on the Tiananmen Movement have earned her a Certificate of Teaching Excellence for three consecutive years. Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Globe and Mail. She has been interviewed by The Harvard Gazette, the Harvard Crimson, the Harvard Magazine, the Boston Globe, The Daily Telegraph, The Time, The Associated Press, The Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian, LA Times, the NBC, the CBC, the BBC, CTV, and various international media.

Table of Contents

Table of Content Foreword Acknowledgments Chronology Section One: Introduction Prologue Surviving 1989 Chapter 1 June 4: History and Memory in Exile Chapter 2 Seeds of Fire Section Two: Triumph and Trauma Chapter 3 On the Road: Yi Danxuan Chapter 4 No Direction Home: Shen Tong Chapter 5 Living Somewhere Else: Wang Dan Chapter 6 Romance and Revolution: Group Discussions Section Three: Conclusion Chapter 7 Citizenship in Exile Epilogue The Beginning of an End Notes Bibliography Index

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