The Tiananmen Papers : The Chinese Leadership's Decision to Use Force Against Their Own People - In Their Own Words

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9781586480127: The Tiananmen Papers : The Chinese Leadership's Decision to Use Force Against Their Own People - In Their Own Words
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Compiles internal government and Communist Party documents to chronicle the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations in China, revealing the decisions that led to the use of military force against the student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.

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Review:

Published to predictable international controversy, this sensational trove of documents, chronicling events leading up to, and following, the violent quashing of student protests in Tiananmen Square in June 1989, vividly details for the first time what previously had only been surmised. Zhang Liang, the pseudonym for the high-ranking Chinese official who leaked the documents, has revived the memory less to tell the truth than in a bid to advance political reform in China, which stalled as a result of Tiananmen Square. In that sense, the book is as much about hidden struggles now as it is about those in 1989. The Chinese government, unsurprisingly, has condemned it as "fabrication," and while a post-Hitler Diaries world is cautious, with experts admitting they cannot guarantee authenticity "with absolute authority," the feeling is that the records are largely credible.

What they reveal is the paranoia that gripped the Chinese rulers when the death of Hu Yaobang sparked public demonstrations that showed no signs of abating. The biggest villain appears to be former Premier Li Peng, the so-called "Butcher of Beijing," who conspires to bring about an aggressive end to the "turmoil." Yet it's Deng Xiaoping, who, although officially long retired, still wields the most power, as he and his fellow Elders intervene to enforce martial law. The moderate Zhao Ziyang favors negotiation and dialogue, but as a consequence is crushed and replaced by Jiang Zemin, the present leader, plucked from obscurity and appointed in defiance of procedure. The gripping scenario that unfolds, in compulsive detail, is akin to parents bickering over the best way to control unruly children, with carrot or stick.

Preceding a much longer Chinese edition, the American editors, Andrew J. Nathan and Perry Link, have performed their duties with acuity and flair, providing a lucid commentary to link the whistle-blowing government papers, minutes of meetings, speeches, eyewitness accounts, poster text, and foreign observations. The Tiananmen Papers affords a wide audience the opportunity to watch the drama unfold, blow by blow. It proves as brilliantly enthralling and explosive as a fictional thriller, allowing a rare snapshot of Chinese Communist Party factionalism in action. --David Vincent, Amazon.co.uk

About the Author:

Andrew J. Nathan is a professor of political science and former director of the East Asian Institute at Columbia University. He is the author, most recently, of China's Transition and coauthor of The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress: China's Search for Security.

Perry Link is a professor of Chinese at Princeton University and the author of The Uses of Literature: Life in the Socialist Chinese Literary System.

Orville Schell is dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and is the author of numerous articles and books on Chinese affairs, the most recent of which is Virtual Tibet.

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Schell, Orville
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Liang, Zhang (compiled By); Nathan, Andrew J. & Link, Perry (editors); Schell, Orville (afterword).
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Book Description PublicAffairs, New York, 2001. Hardcover. Condition: New. First Edition.. 513 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. Like New. CHINA. The story of the 1989 demonstrations is told for the first time in the words of the leaders who made the decision to crush them. In this extraordinary collections of hundreds of internal government and Communist Party documents, we learn how the growing student movement of April and May 1989 split the ruling elite into factions that sought radically different solutions to the unrest that sought radically different solutions to the unrest that was spreading across the nation. Includes an Index. (Key Words: Tiananmen Square, Student Movements, Zhang Liang, Andrew J. Nathan, Perry Link, Orville Schell, Deng Xiaoping, China, Beijing, Zhao Ziyang, Yao Yilin, Xinhua News Agency, Wuerkaixi, Wan Li, Taiwan, Shanghai, Qiao Shi, Peng Zhen, Peking University, Martial Law, Li Ximing, Hunger Strikes, Li ?Tieying, Hu Qili, Hong KongFeng Congde, Deng Yingchao, Chi Haotian, Chen Xitong, Chai Ling,Beijing Normal University, Bao Tong). book. Seller Inventory # 30231X1

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