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Original Essays | September 4, 2014

Edward E. Baptist: IMG The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism



My new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, is the story of two bodies. The first body was the new... Continue »
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Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds by Ping Fu
Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds

BookPolaris, March 27, 2013

To potential buyers who are not familiar with the period of the Cultural Revolution, this book may sound like a very inspirational rags-to-riches story, but to any Chinese person who had gone through that period, including myself and my family members, this book is more like fiction than an autobiography. Since its release, the book has stirred up a massive online debate over the veracity of Ms. Fu's alleged life experiences. Many of the author's claims have been since debunked and even the author herself has admitted there are inconsistencies and errors that need to be corrected in subsequent printings. However, as debates continue, more and more new findings have emerged, which makes me feel this book is simply unsalvageable. Suzhou University has recently clarified that Ms. Fu did not graduate from the university due to her early withdrawal and no degree was granted to her. It further clarifies that Ms. Fu did take English classes and got "excellent" as her grade, but she did not write any graduation thesis on infanticide as no such topic was assigned to students in the Chinese department, and her so-called "period police" was pure fabrication. This clarification by Suzhou University has basically overturned most of her claims in the book and on TV interviews. Moreover, Albuquerque Police Department stated no incident of Ms. Fu's kidnapping and three endangered kids took place; and University of New Mexico also confirmed Ms. Fu was not enrolled in any graduate program. So her alleged kidnapping in her book and her claim she was just less than a year before completing her Master's degree in computer science at UNM were not true, either. These are not minor issues or "errors of memory." I don't think Adrian Zackheim, the publisher, could still say "Portfolio had no plans to look into the veracity of the book," and I don't think a memoir full of false claims is worth any readers' money or time.
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