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Prisoner of the State: the Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang (09 Edition)

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Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

Zhao may be more dangerous in death than he was in life.

-- Time

How often can you peek behind the curtains of one of the most secretive governments in the world? Prisoner of the State is the first book to give readers a front row seat to the secret inner workings of China's government. It is the story of Premier Zhao Ziyang, the man who brought liberal change to that nation and who, at the height of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, tried to stop the massacre and was dethroned for his efforts.

When China's army moved in, killing hundreds of students and other demonstrators, Zhao was placed under house arrest at his home on a quiet alley in Beijing. China's most promising change agent had been disgraced, along with the policies he stood for. The premier spent the last sixteen years of his life, up until his death in 2005, in seclusion. An occasional detail about his life would slip out: reports of a golf excursion, a photo of his aging visage, a leaked letter to China's leaders. But China scholars often lamented that Zhao never had his final say.

As it turns out, Zhao did produce a memoir in complete secrecy. He methodically recorded his thoughts and recollections on what had happened behind the scenes during many of modern China's most critical moments. The tapes he produced were smuggled out of the country and form the basis for Prisoner of the State. In this audio journal, Zhao provides intimate details about the Tiananmen crackdown; he describes the ploys and double crosses China's top leaders use to gain advantage over one another; and he talks of the necessity for China to adopt democracy in order to achieve long-term stability.

The China that Zhao portrays is not some long-lost dynasty. It is today's China, where the nation's leaders accept economic freedom but continue to resist political change.

If Zhao had survived — that is, if the hard-line hadn't prevailed during Tiananmen — he might have been able to steer China's political system toward more openness and tolerance.

Zhao's call to begin lifting the Party's control over China's life — to let a little freedom into the public square — is remarkable coming from a man who had once dominated that square. Although Zhao now speaks from the grave in this moving and riveting memoir, his voice has the moral power to make China sit up and listen.

Review:

When Zhao Ziyang, the former Chinese premier who in 1989 had opposed using military force against student protesters, died four years ago, China's top leaders formed an "Emergency Response Leadership Small Group," declared "a period of extreme sensitivity," put the People's Armed Police on special alert and ordered the Ministry of Railways to screen travelers heading for Beijing. If this is how the... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

In one of the biggest news events of the year, this work unveils the secret recorded diaries of Zhao Ziyang, the former Premier of China and the most powerful communist in that country ever to be deposed.

About the Author

ZHAO ZIYANG was the Premier of China from 1983 until 1987 when he became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, a position he held until 1989 when he was deposed and put under house arrest until his death in 2005. Adi Ignatius is an American journalist who covered China for The Wall Street Journal during the Zhao Ziyang era. He is currently editor in chief of the Harvard Business Review. Bao Pu, a political commentator and veteran human rights activist, is a publisher and editor of New Century Press in Hong Kong.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781439149386
Subtitle:
The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang
Author:
Ziyang, Zhao
Editor:
Ignatius, Adi
Editor:
Bao, Pu
Author:
Ignatius, Adi
Author:
Anonymous
Author:
Pu, Bao
Author:
Chiang, Renee
Author:
MacFarquhar, Roderick
Author:
Zhao, Ziyang
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Asia - China
Subject:
Political
Subject:
China - History - T
Subject:
China--Politics and government--1976-2002
Publication Date:
20090519
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
History and Social Science » Asia » China » Peoples Republic 1949 to Present
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » China

Prisoner of the State: the Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang (09 Edition) Used Hardcover
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Product details 336 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781439149386 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In one of the biggest news events of the year, this work unveils the secret recorded diaries of Zhao Ziyang, the former Premier of China and the most powerful communist in that country ever to be deposed.
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