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1 Hawthorne World History- China

This title in other editions

Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962

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Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962 Cover

ISBN13: 9780374277932
ISBN10: 0374277931
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The much-anticipated definitive account of Chinas Great Famine  

An estimated thirty-six million Chinese men, women and children starved to death during Chinas 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 lays the deaths at the feet of Chinas totalitarian Communist 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…The most authoritative account of the great famine…One of the most important books to come out of China in recent years.”

 

Review:

"One of the 20th century's worst catastrophes is a monument to Maoist tyranny and mismanagement, argues this hard-hitting study of China's Great Famine. Chinese journalist Yang, whose father died in the famine, compiles grim statistics — he estimates that 36 million people perished — and heartrending scenes of mass starvation and familial cannibalism. Even more shocking is his account of China's Great Leap Forward economic campaign, which caused the famine by pulling peasants from fields to work on ill-conceived industrial projects, melting down farming tools in backyard steel mills, and crippling agricultural productivity with collectivization schemes. Yang meticulously analyzes the delusional Communist ideology that nurtured the calamity: terrified of bearing bad news, party officials offered fantastic tales of bumper harvests to their superiors, who then exacerbated the hunger by hiking grain requisition quotas and exporting food while Mao's sycophantic personality cult prevented moderate leaders from challenging his disastrous economic experiments. This condensed English version of Yang's two-volume Chinese original suffers from disorganization; the outlines of the famine emerge only fitfully from his fragmented and repetitive accounts of its progress in individual provinces. Still, it's a harrowing read, illuminating a historic watershed that's too little known in the West. Map. Agent: Peter Bernstein." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

The landmark account of Chinas Great Famine

An estimated thirty-six million Chinese men, women, and children starved to death during Chinas 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 lays the deaths at the feet of Chinas totalitarian Communist system and the refusal of officials at every level to value human life over ideology and self-interest.

     Tombstone is a testament to the 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 and in hopeful anticipation of the final demise of the totalitarian system.

Synopsis:

An estimated 36 million Chinese men, women and children starved to death during Chinas 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 lays the deaths at the feet of Chinas totalitarian Communist 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…The most authoritative account of the great famine…One of the most important books to come out of China in recent years.”

 

 

About the Author

Yang Jisheng was born in 1940, joined the Communist Party in 1964, and worked for the Xinhua News Agency from January 1968 until his retirement in 2001. He is now a deputy editor at Yanhuang Chunqiu (Chronicles of History), an official journal that regularly skirts censorship with articles on controversial political topics. A leading liberal voice, he published the Chinese version of Tombstone in Hong Kong in May 2008. Eight editions have been issued since then.Yang Jisheng lives in Beijing with his wife and two children.

Translator Bio:  

Stacy Mosher learned Chinese in Hong Kong, where she lived for nearly 18 years. A long-time journalist, Mosher currently works as an editor and translator in Brooklyn.

Guo Jian is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Originally trained in Chinese language and literature, Guo was on the Chinese faculty of Beijing Normal University until he came to the United States to study for his PhD in English in the mid-1980s.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

James Kirk, January 5, 2013 (view all comments by James Kirk)
Tombstone is a major addition to our understanding of totalitarian government.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780374277932
Subtitle:
The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962
Author:
Yang, Jisheng
Author:
MacFarquhar, Roderick
Author:
Friedman, Edward
Author:
Yang Jisheng
Author:
Mosher, Stacy
Author:
Guo, Jian
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
China
Subject:
Political Ideologies/Communism, Post-Communism & Socialism
Subject:
Politics-Leftist Studies
Subject:
World History - China
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20131119
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Map/Chronology/Notes/Bibliography/Index
Pages:
656
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » History and Social Science
History and Social Science » Asia » China » Peoples Republic 1949 to Present
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History and Social Science » World History » China
History and Social Science » World History » General

Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962 Used Hardcover
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$11.95 In Stock
Product details 656 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374277932 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "One of the 20th century's worst catastrophes is a monument to Maoist tyranny and mismanagement, argues this hard-hitting study of China's Great Famine. Chinese journalist Yang, whose father died in the famine, compiles grim statistics — he estimates that 36 million people perished — and heartrending scenes of mass starvation and familial cannibalism. Even more shocking is his account of China's Great Leap Forward economic campaign, which caused the famine by pulling peasants from fields to work on ill-conceived industrial projects, melting down farming tools in backyard steel mills, and crippling agricultural productivity with collectivization schemes. Yang meticulously analyzes the delusional Communist ideology that nurtured the calamity: terrified of bearing bad news, party officials offered fantastic tales of bumper harvests to their superiors, who then exacerbated the hunger by hiking grain requisition quotas and exporting food while Mao's sycophantic personality cult prevented moderate leaders from challenging his disastrous economic experiments. This condensed English version of Yang's two-volume Chinese original suffers from disorganization; the outlines of the famine emerge only fitfully from his fragmented and repetitive accounts of its progress in individual provinces. Still, it's a harrowing read, illuminating a historic watershed that's too little known in the West. Map. Agent: Peter Bernstein." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,

The landmark account of Chinas Great Famine

An estimated thirty-six million Chinese men, women, and children starved to death during Chinas 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 lays the deaths at the feet of Chinas totalitarian Communist system and the refusal of officials at every level to value human life over ideology and self-interest.

     Tombstone is a testament to the 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 and in hopeful anticipation of the final demise of the totalitarian system.

"Synopsis" by ,

An estimated 36 million Chinese men, women and children starved to death during Chinas 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 lays the deaths at the feet of Chinas totalitarian Communist 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…The most authoritative account of the great famine…One of the most important books to come out of China in recent years.”

 

 

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