Enemies of the People

Anne F. Thurston, Author
Anne F. Thurston, Author Alfred A. Knopf $19.95 (323p) ISBN 978-0-394-55581-2
Reviewed on: 02/01/1987
Release date: 02/01/1987
Thurston's vivid and vigorous look at China's Cultural Revolution does not attempt to match the epic social sweep of Jonathan Spence's classic The Gate of Heavenly Peace. The author, a China scholar whose insights into Chinese history are enriched by many visits to Beijing in recent years, focuses almost exclusively on the consequences of Mao's disastrous political ploy initiated in 1966-67 the impact of the Cultural Revolution's excesses on ""intellectuals,'' who by definition were viewed as ``enemies of the people.'' Through interviews she presents a bruising picture of what happened to academics and others (including ranking Communist cadres) who were harassed, beaten and ultimately imprisoned or banished to the countryside among a frightened peasantry. These individual portraits are often numbing in their poignancy and together they comprise a re-creation warm with life. (February 25)
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