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Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing

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Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Strange things happen when Chinese dynasties near their end. Dams break, earthquakes hit, clouds appear in the shape of weird beasts, rain falls in odd colors, and insects infest the countryside. These are the ill omens of moral turpitude and political collapse. While greed and cynicism poison the society from within, barbarians stir restlessly at the gates. Corrupt officials, whose authority can no longer rely on the assumption of superior virtue, exercise their power with anxious and arbitrary brutality. When people, even those who live far from the centers of power, begin to sense that the Mandate of Heaven is slipping away from their corrupted rulers, rebellious spirits press their claims as the saviors of China, with promises of moral restoration and national unity. Millenarian cults and secret societies proliferate and sometimes explode in massive violence."

What does it mean to be Chinese? Few questions in history have been as fateful. Bad Elements is the result of Ian Buruma’s five years of travels throughout the Chinese-speaking world observing the varying groups competing for a right to define its answer. From the diaspora of exiles in the West, to Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, to factions within the People’s Republic itself, Buruma comes to terms with the range of dissident communities competing to shape China’s future in their own image.

A brave and illuminating reckoning with the groups fighting for the Mandate of Heaven, Bad Elements is also a profound meditation on the universal themes of national identity and political struggle.

Review:

"Ian Buruma at his best! Witty, insightful, revealing. He adds a new, broader dimension to our understanding of the struggles for China's future, showing that it stretches far beyond its borders. Refreshing and fascinating." Ryszard Kapuscinski

Review:

"Bad Elements is a marvelous guided tour of the many worlds of Chinese free-thinking. We visit frustrated refugees in New Jersey, rebels-turned-evangelists in California, gadflies in the authoritarian duchy of Singapore, long-suffering campaigners for Taiwan independence, punctilious Hong Kong democrats, stubborn Tibetans, and many more. We meet mayors and cooks, professors and streetwalkers. We go from city to town to tiny village to cyberspace. Two common threads hold the resplendent variety together. One is the reliable presence of the tour guide, Mr. Buruma, whose sharp eye, arch irony, and underlying moral seriousness provide a consistent vantage point; the other is the character of the bad elements themselves, who, despite all the differences in their contexts and concerns, display a common orneriness. After this book, it will no longer work to argue that Chinese people like to be told what to do." Perry Link, professor East Asian Studies, Princeton University

Review:

"Ian Buruma is a powerful storyteller....Bad Elements is the best book yet written on Chinese dissidents." The New York Review of Books

Review:

"[Buruma is] one of the sharpest minds writing about Asia....A brilliant examination...impressively comprehensive." The Wall Street Journal

Synopsis:

In this enlightening and often moving book, critically acclaimed essayist Buruma conducts readers on a global tour of Chinese dissidence. Panoramic and intimate, disturbing and inspiring, Bad Elements is a profound meditation on the themes of national identity and political struggle.

Synopsis:

Who speaks for China? Is it the old men of the politbureau or an activist like Wei Jingshsheng, who spent eighteen years in prison for writing a democratic manifesto? Is China's future to be found amid the boisterous sleaze of an electoral campaign in Taiwan or in the maneuvers by which ordinary residents of Beijing quietly resist the

Synopsis:

As China's leaders attempt to refute the Tiananmen Papers, condemn Falun Gong protests, and press Taiwan to embrace the one-China principle, a burning question emerges: Who are these opponents — struggling not only in the People's Republic but overseas, in the U.S., Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan — who dare to stand up to the Communist party's powerful rulers, and what drives them?

Buruma reports dramatically on exiles in California and religious dissidents in Beijing. He explores the tensions between cultural traditions and contemporary politics, illuminating Taiwan's transition from dictatorship to democracy and the handover of Hong Kong in 1997. Part travelogue, part analysis, Bad Elements illuminates the story of the Chinese opposition for Western readers who want to understand where China is headed.

Ian Buruma — at his best Witty, insightful, revealing. The author adds a new, broader dimension to the China subject showing that the struggle for this country transcends far beyond its borders. Very refreshing and fascinating.

RYSZARD KAPUSCINSKI

Bad Elements is a marvelous guided tour of the many worlds of Chinese free-thinking. We visit frustrated refugees in New Jersey, rebels turned evangelist in California, gadflies in the authoritarian duchy of Singapore, long-suffering campaigners for Taiwan independence, punctilious Hong Kong democrats, stubborn Tibetans, and many more. We meet mayors and cooks, professors and streetwalkers. We go from city to town to tiny village to cyberspace. Two common threads hold the resplendent variety together. One is the reliable presence of the tour guide, Mr. Buruma, whose sharp eye, arch irony, and underlying moral seriousness provide a consistent vantage point; the other is the character of the bad elements themselves, who, despite all the differences in their contexts and concerns, display a common orneryness. After this book it will no longer work to argue that 'Chinese people like to be told what to do.'

PERRY LINK, PROFESSOR OF EAST ASIAN STUDIES, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

In this sharply observed and finely written book, Ian Buruma takes the reader with him on a deeply personal quest: why is it that, in the face of overwhelming state power, some Chinese consistently refuse to 'Live in the Lie'? What does their cussedness tell us about the meaning of being Chinese? And can the roots of their individual acts of courage be traced either to their religious faith, or their belief in science?

JONATHAN SPENCE, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, YALE UNIVERSITY

Synopsis:

<P>As China's leaders attempt to refute the Tiananmen Papers, condemn Falun Gong protests, and press Taiwan to embrace the one-China principle, a burning question emerges: Who are these opponents — struggling not only in the People's Republic but overseas, in the U.S., Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan — who dare to stand up to the Communist party's powerful rulers, and what drives them?</P><P>Buruma reports dramatically on exiles in California and religious dissidents in Beijing. He explores the tensions between cultural traditions and contemporary politics, illuminating Taiwan's transition from dictatorship to democracy and the handover of Hong Kong in 1997. Part travelogue, part analysis, <I>Bad Elements</I> illuminates the story of the Chinese opposition for Western readers who want to understand where China is headed.</P><HR><P>"Ian Buruma — at his best! Witty, insightful, revealing. The author adds a new, broader dimension to the China subject showing that the struggle for this country transcends far beyond its borders. Very refreshing and fascinating."<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<A HREF="/author.cgi/3846">RYSZARD KAPUSCINSKI</A></P><P><I>"Bad Elements</I> is a marvelous guided tour of the many worlds of Chinese free-thinking. We visit frustrated refugees in New Jersey, rebels turned evangelist in California, gadflies in the authoritarian duchy of Singapore, long-suffering campaigners for Taiwan independence, punctilious Hong Kong democrats, stubborn Tibetans, and many more. We meet mayors and cooks, professors and streetwalkers. We go from city to town to tiny village to cyberspace. Two common threads hold the resplendent variety together. One is the reliable presence of the tour guide, Mr. Buruma, whose sharp eye, arch irony, and underlying moral seriousness provide a consistent vantage point; the other is the character of the bad elemen

About the Author

Ian Buruma was educated in Holland and Japan and spent many years in Asia, which he has written about in book such as God's Dust, Behind the Mask, and The Missionary and the Libertine. He is also the author of Playing the Game, The Wages of Guilt, and Anglomania. He lived in London.

Table of Contents

Exile from Tiananmen Square — Waiting for the Messiah — Stars of Arizona — Mr. Wei goes to Washington — China in cyberspace — Chinese Disneyland — Not China — The last colony — Frontier zones — Roads to Bethlehem — The view from Lhasa — A deer is a deer.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400033324
Subtitle:
Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Author:
Buruma, Ian
Author:
Ian Buruma
Subject:
Asia - China
Subject:
International Relations - General
Subject:
Political Science-International Relations - General
Subject:
History-Asia - China
Subject:
Political Science : International Relations - General
Subject:
History : Asia - China
Subject:
International
Subject:
China
Subject:
Dissenters
Subject:
Human Rights
Subject:
International Relations
Subject:
Asia-China Peoples Republic 1949 to Present
Subject:
Politics-United States Foreign Policy
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
2002
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
400

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Human Rights
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » China

Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 400 pages Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group - English 9781400033324 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Ian Buruma at his best! Witty, insightful, revealing. He adds a new, broader dimension to our understanding of the struggles for China's future, showing that it stretches far beyond its borders. Refreshing and fascinating."
"Review" by , "Bad Elements is a marvelous guided tour of the many worlds of Chinese free-thinking. We visit frustrated refugees in New Jersey, rebels-turned-evangelists in California, gadflies in the authoritarian duchy of Singapore, long-suffering campaigners for Taiwan independence, punctilious Hong Kong democrats, stubborn Tibetans, and many more. We meet mayors and cooks, professors and streetwalkers. We go from city to town to tiny village to cyberspace. Two common threads hold the resplendent variety together. One is the reliable presence of the tour guide, Mr. Buruma, whose sharp eye, arch irony, and underlying moral seriousness provide a consistent vantage point; the other is the character of the bad elements themselves, who, despite all the differences in their contexts and concerns, display a common orneriness. After this book, it will no longer work to argue that Chinese people like to be told what to do."
"Review" by , "Ian Buruma is a powerful storyteller....Bad Elements is the best book yet written on Chinese dissidents."
"Review" by , "[Buruma is] one of the sharpest minds writing about Asia....A brilliant examination...impressively comprehensive."
"Synopsis" by , In this enlightening and often moving book, critically acclaimed essayist Buruma conducts readers on a global tour of Chinese dissidence. Panoramic and intimate, disturbing and inspiring, Bad Elements is a profound meditation on the themes of national identity and political struggle.
"Synopsis" by , Who speaks for China? Is it the old men of the politbureau or an activist like Wei Jingshsheng, who spent eighteen years in prison for writing a democratic manifesto? Is China's future to be found amid the boisterous sleaze of an electoral campaign in Taiwan or in the maneuvers by which ordinary residents of Beijing quietly resist the
"Synopsis" by , As China's leaders attempt to refute the Tiananmen Papers, condemn Falun Gong protests, and press Taiwan to embrace the one-China principle, a burning question emerges: Who are these opponents — struggling not only in the People's Republic but overseas, in the U.S., Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan — who dare to stand up to the Communist party's powerful rulers, and what drives them?

Buruma reports dramatically on exiles in California and religious dissidents in Beijing. He explores the tensions between cultural traditions and contemporary politics, illuminating Taiwan's transition from dictatorship to democracy and the handover of Hong Kong in 1997. Part travelogue, part analysis, Bad Elements illuminates the story of the Chinese opposition for Western readers who want to understand where China is headed.

Ian Buruma — at his best Witty, insightful, revealing. The author adds a new, broader dimension to the China subject showing that the struggle for this country transcends far beyond its borders. Very refreshing and fascinating.

RYSZARD KAPUSCINSKI

Bad Elements is a marvelous guided tour of the many worlds of Chinese free-thinking. We visit frustrated refugees in New Jersey, rebels turned evangelist in California, gadflies in the authoritarian duchy of Singapore, long-suffering campaigners for Taiwan independence, punctilious Hong Kong democrats, stubborn Tibetans, and many more. We meet mayors and cooks, professors and streetwalkers. We go from city to town to tiny village to cyberspace. Two common threads hold the resplendent variety together. One is the reliable presence of the tour guide, Mr. Buruma, whose sharp eye, arch irony, and underlying moral seriousness provide a consistent vantage point; the other is the character of the bad elements themselves, who, despite all the differences in their contexts and concerns, display a common orneryness. After this book it will no longer work to argue that 'Chinese people like to be told what to do.'

PERRY LINK, PROFESSOR OF EAST ASIAN STUDIES, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

In this sharply observed and finely written book, Ian Buruma takes the reader with him on a deeply personal quest: why is it that, in the face of overwhelming state power, some Chinese consistently refuse to 'Live in the Lie'? What does their cussedness tell us about the meaning of being Chinese? And can the roots of their individual acts of courage be traced either to their religious faith, or their belief in science?

JONATHAN SPENCE, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY, YALE UNIVERSITY

"Synopsis" by , <P>As China's leaders attempt to refute the Tiananmen Papers, condemn Falun Gong protests, and press Taiwan to embrace the one-China principle, a burning question emerges: Who are these opponents — struggling not only in the People's Republic but overseas, in the U.S., Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan — who dare to stand up to the Communist party's powerful rulers, and what drives them?</P><P>Buruma reports dramatically on exiles in California and religious dissidents in Beijing. He explores the tensions between cultural traditions and contemporary politics, illuminating Taiwan's transition from dictatorship to democracy and the handover of Hong Kong in 1997. Part travelogue, part analysis, <I>Bad Elements</I> illuminates the story of the Chinese opposition for Western readers who want to understand where China is headed.</P><HR><P>"Ian Buruma — at his best! Witty, insightful, revealing. The author adds a new, broader dimension to the China subject showing that the struggle for this country transcends far beyond its borders. Very refreshing and fascinating."<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<A HREF="/author.cgi/3846">RYSZARD KAPUSCINSKI</A></P><P><I>"Bad Elements</I> is a marvelous guided tour of the many worlds of Chinese free-thinking. We visit frustrated refugees in New Jersey, rebels turned evangelist in California, gadflies in the authoritarian duchy of Singapore, long-suffering campaigners for Taiwan independence, punctilious Hong Kong democrats, stubborn Tibetans, and many more. We meet mayors and cooks, professors and streetwalkers. We go from city to town to tiny village to cyberspace. Two common threads hold the resplendent variety together. One is the reliable presence of the tour guide, Mr. Buruma, whose sharp eye, arch irony, and underlying moral seriousness provide a consistent vantage point; the other is the character of the bad elemen
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