1. Books

Best Books of 2006: Chinese History

Continuing the genre hopping in Marketers Studio Book Month, we move into Chinese History, entirely thanks to Cara, who’s Far Eastern travels inspired me to get up to speed on a subject of which I’ve known hardly anything.

These are two from her shelves that were masterful primers, the first an autobiography, the second a family history:

First, there’s Bitter Winds: A Memoir of My Years in China’s Gulag. Harry Wu, born Wu Hongda, spent over a decade as a prisoner in China’s
extensive labor system all for thinking rightist thoughts counter to
Mao’s edicts. He survived on minimal rations, saw friends die, lost
lovers and family, and had his own close encounters with death. It’s
not well written, but a great book – part history lesson, part personal

Better still is Wild Swans : Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang, epic, trigenerational story of three women’s roles as actors in and witnesses to China’s history. Given the atrocities witnessed and suffering experienced, the touching story is at times painful to get through, but there’s always a payoff.

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