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Tombstone : the great Chinese famine, 1958-1962

Author: Jisheng Yang; Edward Friedman; Jian Guo; Stacy Mosher
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1. American pbk. edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
An account of the famine that killed roughly thirty-six million Chinese during the Great Leap Forward examines how the communist ideologies and collectivization campaigns perpetuated by the country's leaders caused the catastrophe.
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jisheng Yang; Edward Friedman; Jian Guo; Stacy Mosher
ISBN: 9780374533991 0374533997 9780374277932 0374277931
OCLC Number: 900241618
Notes: Originaltitel: Mu bei
Description: xxvi, 629 s. : map, portr. ; 21 cm.
Contents: Indhold: An everlasting tombstone ; The epicenter of the disaster ; The three red banners: source of the famine ; Hard times in Gansu ; The peopleś commune: Foundation of the totalitarian system ; The communal kitchens ; Hungry ghosts in heaven's pantry ; The ravages of the five winds ; Anxious in Anhui ; The food crisis ; Turnaround in Lushan ; Chinaś population loss in the great leap forward ; The official response to the crisis ; Social stability during the great famine ; The systemic causes of the great famine ; The great famineś impact on chinese politics.
Responsibility: Yang Jisheng ; edited by Edward Friedman, Guo Jian, and Stacy Mosher ; translated from the Chinese by Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian ; introduction by Edward Friedman and Roderick MacFarquhar

Abstract:

An account of the famine that killed roughly thirty-six million Chinese during the Great Leap Forward examines how the communist ideologies and collectivization campaigns perpetuated by the country's leaders caused the catastrophe.

An estimated thirty-six million Chinese men, women, and children starved to death during China's 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 attributes responsibility for the deaths to China's totalitarian 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 . . . One of the most important books to come out of China in recent years."

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