9780374277932

Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962

Yang Jisheng

ISBN 10: 0374277931 / 0-374-27793-1
ISBN 13: 9780374277932
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: 2012
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:

The much-anticipated definitive account of China’s Great Famine  

An estimated thirty-six million Chinese men, women, and children starved to death during China’s Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s and early ’60s. One of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century, the famine is poorly understood, and in China is still euphemistically referred to as “the three years of natural disaster.”

As a journalist with privileged access to official and unofficial sources, Yang Jisheng spent twenty years piecing together the events that led to mass nationwide starvation, including the death of his own father. Finding no natural causes, Yang attributes responsibility for the deaths to China’s totalitarian system and the refusal of officials at every level to value human life over ideology and self-interest.

Tombstone is a testament to inhumanity and occasional heroism that pits collective memory against the historical amnesia imposed by those in power. Stunning in scale and arresting in its detailed account of the staggering human cost of this tragedy, Tombstone is written both as a memorial to the lives lost—an enduring tombstone in memory of the dead—and in hopeful anticipation of the final demise of the totalitarian system. Ian Johnson, writing in The New York Review of Books, called the Chinese edition of Tombstone “groundbreaking . . . One of the most important books to come out of China in recent years.”

 


Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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1.

Yang Jisheng
ISBN 10: 0374277931
ISBN 13: 9780374277932
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Book Description: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "Yang''s discreet and well-judged pursuit of his project over more than a decade is a quietly heroic achievement."Roger Garside, China Rights Forum " Tombstone easily supersedes all previous chronicles of the famine, and is one of the best insider accounts of the Party's inner workings during this period, offering an unrivalled picture of socioeconomic engineering within a rigid ideological framework . . . meticulously researched." Pankaj Mishra, The New Yorker "Eye-opening . . . boldly unsparing."Jonathan Mirsky, The New York Times Book Review "Beautifully written and fluidly translated, Tombstone deserves to reach as many readers as possible."Samuel Moyn, The Nation "[An] epic account . . . Tombstone is a landmark in the Chinese people''s own efforts to confront their history."Ian Johnson, The New York Review of Books "The toll is astounding, and this book is important for many reasonsdifficult to stomach, but important all the same."Kirkus Review "Mao's Great Famine of the late 1950s continues to boggle the mind. No one book or even set of books could encompass the tens of millions of lives needlessly and intentionally destroyed or explain the paranoid megalomania of China's leaders at the time. As with the Holocaust, every serious new account both renews our witness of the murdered dead and extends our understanding. Zhou Xun here selects, translates, and annotates 121 internal reports from local officials to their bosses. They form a frank, grisly, and specific portrait of hysteria defeating common sense. Zhou's University of Hong Kong colleague, Frank Diktter, extricated some of these documents from newly opened (and now again closed) archives in local headquarters across China for his Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe 19581962, but Zhou's book stands on its own. A useful introduction, headnotes to each chapter, a chronology, and explanatory notes frame the documents. VERDICT Accessible and appealing to assiduous readers with knowledge of Mao's China; especially useful to specialists."Charles W. Hayford, Evanston, IL "A book of great importance."Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans and co-author of Mao: The Unknown Story "A truly necessary book."Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag: A History "In 1989 hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Chinese died in the June Fourth massacre in Beijing, and within hours hundreds of millions of people around the world had seen images of it on their television screens. In the late 1950s, also in Communist China, roughly the inverse happened: thirty million or more died while the world, then and now, has hardly noticed. If the cause of the Great Famine had been a natural disaster, this double standard might be more understandable. But the causes, as Yang Jisheng shows in meticulous detail, were political. How can the world not look now?"Perry Link, Chancellorial Chair for Innovative Teaching, Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages, University of California, Riverside "Hard-hitting. . . It''s a harrowing read, illuminating a historic watershed that''s still too little known in the West." Publishers'' Weekly "Groundbreaking.The most authoritative account of the Great Famine.One of the most important books to come out of China in recent years." Ian Johnson, The New York Review of Books "The most stellar example of retrospective writing on the Mao period from any Chinese pen or computer." Perry Link, Chancellorial Chair for Innovative Teaching, Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages, University of California, Riverside "The first proper history of China''s Great Famine." Anne Applebaum, The Washington Post "A monumental work comparable to Solzhenitsyn''s Nobel Prize-winning work The Gulag Archipelago." Xu Youyu, Chinese Academy of Social Science. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0374277931

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Yang Jisheng
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Book Description: FSG. 1 Cloth(s), 2012. hard. Book Condition: New. An estimated 36 million Chinese men, women, and children starved to death during Mao's "Great Leap Forward" in the late 1950s and early 60s. One of the greatest human tragedies of the 20th century, the famine is still poorly understood, and in China is euphemistically referred to as "the three years of natural disaster." As a journalist with privileged access to official and unofficial sources, Yang Jisheng spent 20 years piecing together the events that led to this mass starvation, including the death of his own father, and finds that officials at every level refused to value human life over ideology and self-interest. Tombstone is a testament to the inhumanity of China's totalitarian system—as well as episodes of occasional heroism—that pits collective memory against the historical amnesia imposed by those in power. "A landmark in the Chinese people's own efforts to confront their history."—NYReview of Books"A devastatingly clear account of Mao and his era. Even with such shocking stories driving the narrative, the true horror of Tombstone is that it's not sensational. It is, rather, a meticulous accumulation of evidence and fact."—Bookforum 629. Bookseller Inventory # 41687

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Book Description: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New hardcover, 1st edition w/ full no. line showing 1st printing, pristine smooth-cut text-block exterior, new rich-brown paper-over-boards cover w/ sharp edges & corners & titles gold-stamped on spine, new binding w/ tight signatures & crimson cloth bands at spine-caps, immaculate pure white end-papers on heavy stock, pristine interior printed w/ handsome clarity on excellent unblemished paper * Map (vii), Introduction (ix), Translator's Note xiii), A Chronology of the Great Famine (xv), Notes (523), Bibliography (577), Index (611) * 6.30" x 9.24" x 2.0", 0.94 kg, xxvi+ 629 (655) pp. * An estimated 36 million Chinese men, women & children starved to death during China's Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s & early 1960s. One of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century, the famine is poorly understood, & in China is still euphemistically called "the 3 years of natural disaster." * As a journalist w/ privileged access to official & unofficial sources, Yang Jisheng spent 20 years reconstructing the events that led to mass nationwide starvation, including the death of his own father. Finding no natural causes, Yang attributes responsibility for the deaths to China's totalitarian system & the refusal of officials at every level to value human life over ideology & self-interest. 'Tombstone' is a testament to inhumanity & occasional heroism that pits collective memory against the historical amnesia imposed by those in power. Stunning in scale & arresting in its detailed account of the staggering human cost of this tragedy, 'Tombstone' is written both as a memorial to the lives lost (an enduring tombstone in memory of the dead) & in hopeful anticipation of the final demise of the totalitarian system. Ian Johnson, writing in 'The New York Review of Books,' called the Chinese edition of 'Tombstone' "groundbreaking . . . one of the most important books to come out of China in recent years." * A truly necessary book." - Anne Applebaum, author of 'Gulag: A History" * "A book of great importance." - June Chang, author of 'Wiid Swans: Three Daughters of China' & coauthor of 'Mao: The Unknown Story'. Bookseller Inventory # 006401

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Book Description: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition; First Printing. 9.10 X 6.10 X 1.90 inches; 656 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 38761

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