Rst I did not want to voice my pinion The Sporty Game of this book since it cut so near to the bone and was such a profound shock to read in 1993 It was however the first book after reading Isabelle Allende that kept me awake for several weeks afterwards Nother book ever managed to achieve thatIt certainly is a depressing book no beating around the bush about that but also such a courageous introduction to a life American Yakuza II of people shut away behind the veilf communism My Inventions That Changed the World: Working Wonders overall impressionf the book was that it must have been eually painful for the author to write it as it was for her family three generations Love Onboard: Cupid's Caribbean Cruise of women to endure the horrific takeoverf Mao Tse Tung in China As with all Communist rhetoric so many noble promises were made to people freedom f ppression being the biggest and innocent poor people believed enough in the idea to die for it Those who did not want to accept it were killed as well in their millionsHowever people such as Jung s father who staunchly believed that it would Wild Swans presents the story Blood Love of three generations in the lifef the author s family which covers most f the 20th century as well as the amazing social political and economic changes ccurring in China as a whole We move from the portrait f a concubine with bound feet to a woman who worked alongside her Communist Party husband to bring Party ideals to fruition then n to the granddaughter who is among the first f her generation to be allowed to leave the country to studyAlong the way there are the classics f any family storylove and hate birth and death marriage with unimaginable struggles and gradual worsening f life n a regular basis The details should be read Most f us who grew up in the 50s and 60s have some memory f hardships in China We really didn t know and it is important to know about the history DIY, Dammit!: A Practical Guide to Curse-Free Crafting of China from pre Communist times to the present as it explains so muchHighly recommended as a big step in education about China in the 20th century through a personal historyAddendum I plan to read the introduction to the 2003 edition as I ve heard it adds some valuable insights to the intro and epilogue available in theriginal 1991 edition I wn Simply put Wild Swans is a poor man s Life and Death in Shanghai Reason being that that while the initial chapters about Jung Chang s grandmother are informative and interesting as it gives us a peek into the life f people in Pre Communist China as the book progresses Chang s ignorance as she was a little girl at that time about the events happening around her becomes a permanent annoyance I am not saying that Chang was still ignorant about what happened in C Wild Swans may well be the most depressing book I ve ever read Don t let that keep you from giving it a try though for by some strange mechanism it also ranks among the most uplifting books I ve read chronicling as it does a courage resilience and will to survive which are nothing short f riveting I could sum the book up by saying it s the greatest de to courage and resilience ever written Civil rights, tool of communist deception or that it sne f those rare books which make you despair f humanity and then go a long way towards restoring your faith in it but no I m not going to leave it at that I m going to do this book justice because damn it it deserves itFor those Cutthroat of you who missed the hype back in the early 1990s Wild Swans is the true historyf three generations An Eastern Orthodox Response to Evangelical Claims of women living through the horrible nightmare that is modern Chinese history One is the author herself now a naturalised British citizen The second is her mother an earnest Communist who raised a large family at a time which was extremely bad for family life The third is her grandmother who was marriedff as a concubine to a warlord as a girl and lived to see her family suffer for this unfortunate connection again and again Using these three extraordinary lives as her main focus Jung Chang tells the history The Claiming of the Shrew of China s even extraordinary twentieth century from the late ing Dynasty in the first decadef the century to the relatively free 1980s a period comprising the Republican era the battle between the Kwomintang and the Communists the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution It s gripping stuff even for those who know their Chinese history and it blew me away when I first read it halfway through my Chinese degree making me wonder for the first time but not the last whether I really wanted to devote the rest Summoned of my life to China It took me two years to decide that I did not but this book whose memory has always stayed with me played a large part in that decision To this day I vividly remember the horror I experienced when I read the long section about the Cultural Revolution It brought alive the terrorf that particular episode f Chinese history better than any ther book I d read and it shocked me to my core While Wild Swans is largely about the three women mentioned above the most interesting person in the book I hesitate to call him a character as he was bviously a very real person is the author s father a high ranking cadre who genuinely believed in the Communist ideals and strove all his life to implement them in daily life At first he is infuriating in his refusal to grant his wife and children the privileges to which they are entitled as his relatives n the grounds that to do so would amount to nepotism and corruption which is precisely what the Communists are supposed to be trying to eradicate but as the story progresses you realise that there is something uite heroic about Mr Chang that he is in his daughter s words a moral man living in a land that is a moral void By the time the Cultural Revolution rolls around the corner you feel such admiration for him that you d personally drag him away from the humiliations and beatings he receives for sticking to his guns if you could to prevent him having to experience that loss Baghdad, Mon Amour: A Journey of Exile and Return of faith and dreams which is bound to follow His is a tragedy with a capital T and it s harrowingne Dead Inside of the most painful things I ve read and then someYet for all the personal struggles described in the book and there are manyf them the main struggling character f Wild Swans is China itself Chang does a great job chronicling what JG Ballard called the brain death f a nation sharing historical facts in a way non sinologists will understand and showing the cruelty and mercilessness inherent in the Chinese The Taste of Spruce Gum or should that be humanity in general She does a marvellous job describing the panic and unpredictabilityf the early Cultural Revolution when absolutely everybody could be denounced at the drop f a hat and when pettiness and lust for power reigned Along the road she provides fascinating insights into Mao Zedong s selfishness and megalomania and into the hypocrisy and incongruity f the movements he set in motion which brutalised human relationships like nothing else ever has And all these atrocities she juxtaposes with the integrity and courage She Stoops to Conquer of her parents and grandmother who get through it all with some hope andptimism left intact It s a riveting story and Chang tells it wellIf I have any complaints about Wild Swans they concern the first few chapters and the romanisation Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile of names The early partsf the book which deal with events the author did not witness herself feel a bit aloof and lifeless It gets better Orb once Chang starts telling about her parents andnce she reaches the part The Dandy and Lady Penelope of the story to which she herself was privy the Great Leap Forward the Cultural Revolution the book becomes uite unputdownable As for the romanisation I wish the In the early daysf Mao's revolution and rose like her husband to a prominent position in the Communist Party before being denounced during the Cultural Revolution Chang herself marched worked and breathed for Mao until doubt crept in ver the excesses f his policies and purges Born just a few decades apart their lives Multi-Family Therapy overlap with the endf the
Jung Chang ✓ 5 Free read
Ublisher had hired an editor skilled in Pinyin as Chang s spelling National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, 7th Edition of Chinese names is allver the place something non sinologists won t notice but which is an eyesore to me These are minor flaws though which hardly detract from the verall uality f the book Wild Swans is an intensely compelling read moving unsettling and unforgettable It should be compulsory reading for everyone remotely interested in China r in history in general How far could Chinese patriarchy go in the early twentieth century to make the lives f women sheer humiliation and misery Here in Wild Swans we have that uestion tidily answered This is a tale A History of Prophecy in Israel, Revised and Enlarged of the livesf three generations Think good thoughts about a pussycat of Chinese women the author her mother and her grandmother Author Jung Chang s grandmother had her feet bound a hideously painful process undertaken solely so that some man mightne day find her lustworthy enough to take as a concubine The years long process One, Two, Three Me of foot bindingf smashing the toes with a rock and binding them under the sole f the foot is thoroughly explained Author Chang s grandmother was thus encrippled and eventually traded ff to a general f ne f the factions vying for control f the country in 1920 All this so her wretch Tea for Ruby of a great grandfather Yang could raise hiswn material status buy land and accumulate concubines I have read The Life of Saint Philip Neri of stories purdah the seraglio and Morman four wiving but never have I come across such a harrowing descriptionf the degradation f women that I have found here Mind numbing are the cruel stratagems f the concubines back at the family home to degrade Yang s first wife Chang s great grandmother and freeze her ut f her I only Like the Fingers of the Guy I Hate, Vol. 1 own home I was awaref this social structure before through works by the writers Jonathan Spence Anchee Min Nien Cheng Harry Wu and The Whistle Pig others but never have I had such a vivid picturef how the first wifeconcubine pecking rder played ut in the daily life f a Chinese family as I ve had here It is beyond belief Then in 1930 released from her bond f concubinage Church Planting Is for Wimps: How God Uses Messed-Up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That Do Extraordinary Things on the deathf the general the grandmother whose name Yu fang translates as jade fragrant flowers falls in love with a Manchu doctor who is determined to marry her as his wife This sends his large family into conniptions since it means Jade will have to be accorded reverence in line with the doctor s strict Manchu standards f filial respect And at 65 he is almost three times her age Perhaps if it weren t for his wealth there would be less f a fuss but a new wife has implications for the eventual distribution f his estate s assets In protest ne Rufus of his sons shoots himself dead This actf greed for the family is worried nly about its wn dispossession nothing drives Dr Xia to divide his possessions among his sons and move to a shack You Are a Miserable Excuse for a Hero!: Book One in the Just Make a Choice! Series on theutskirts f Jinzhou which is a cholera epidemic waiting to happen Yet there he and Jade and the author s mother find some happiness despite the fact that the doctor is penniless and must start at the bottom And all f the above in the book s first 44 pages Next we learn Women and Social Work: Towards a Woman-Centered Practice of the horrors committed during the Second Sino Japanese War the Japaneseccupation f Manchuria in which Jinzhou is located Dr Mrs Xia are able to save a friend from the Japanese by befriending the prison garroter Dong who promises them not to strangle the man fatally nly partially so he ll look dead enough to be transported to the foul smelling communal grave at the end The Cowboys of town There the Xias extract him from a tanglef bodies he s still breathing take him home and nurse him back to health This man Han Chen later goes to work for Kuomintang intelligence where he procures a membership ID for Mrs Xia s son which allows him to avoid military service and keep working in the doctor s medicine shop where he s most needed He even gets Dong a job After the war there were so many saved by Dong from the Japanese reaper in this way that survivors pooled their monies and bought the former executioner a little house for his retirement Heroism takes strange formsThe Japanese were defeated in 1945 and the second and concluding portion Sins of Treachery of the Chinese Civil War resumed The author s mother now turnsut to be this capable community rganizer n the Communist side She distributes propaganda The Nationalist bigwigs are seen as corrupt and lacking discipline The Communists were promising the populace things they would never deliver My Grandfather's Prison: A Story of Death and Deceit in 1940s Kansas City on such as the retentionf personal property In Jinzhou the author says the Communists were perceived as innovators who would make the lives f the people better Another sneaky thing the Communists did while the Nationalists were busy fighting the Japanese they intensified their propaganda and brought the people ver to their side Anyway as you may know neither side comes Whos Next? Guess Who! out smelling like a roseNeed to finish At a conference dinner some time in the mid 90s I found myself sitting next to this extremely impressive Chinese woman researcher bunchf freuently cited publications well read in three languages manages to look gorgeous as well I cast around for something to sayI liked that Wild Swans book I hazarded Do you know itShe looked at me scornfully Any Chinese woman could have written that she replied There are a hundred million stories just like itI must admit I had a little trouble believing her But would Professor Fung have lied to me That seems even less plausible Wild Swans is a candid and harrowing account f three remarkable Chinese women grandmother mother and daughter but also gives us a very good picture f what China was like from the turn Papi's Gift of the Century to the 1980 sWe learn about the ancient culturef the Chinese which included much that was beautiful and some that seems cruel We learn f the hope f so many Chinese that the verthrow f the Kuomintang would lead to a just social グライネリエ 1 [Grainerie 1] order but how it soon became clear that the worst excessesf the Kuomintang and those f Imperial China before that paled into insignificance compared to the hell n earth created by Mao s Chinese Communist PartyOne is left aghast that a system can destroy even the most basic human instincts f decency and compassion while turning people into inhumane monsters totally possessed as if by a demon by a cruel and totally destructive systemIt sends shivers down ne s spine to realise that The Great Helmsman Mao Ze Dong who ranks with Hitler and Stalin as among the most evil men f the 20th century had his image worn n T shirts by progressive students and youth in the west and these same young champions The Coming Revolution in Youth Ministry of euality hung large picturesf Mao in their dormitory roomsThis at the same time as millions File Under: Arson of Chinese were being slaughtered and physically and psychologically maimedn the Wicked Sense ordersf Mao and his Chinese Communist Party as described in this bookToday many in the West laud the economic reforms towards a type f totalitarian capitalist system but fail to remember that human rights have not improved at all and China is still a hideous and inhuman hell for hundreds f millions Powerless Against You of its inhabitants And the world turns a blind eye While we a re left asking how much longer the peoplef China will remain enslaved by their inhumane Communist masters How LongBut the book is also about the strength f the human spirit about wonderful people especially the three remarkable women who are the central characters f this book as well as the cruel nesIt is a story f love and hate strength and weakness the beautiful and the uglyBut than anything it is about how the human spirit can never in the end be crushed by cruelty evil and tyranny. Arlords' regime and Dobys Lessons (Brats in Training overthrowf the Japanese The Texan Meets His Match occupation violent struggles between the Kuomintang and the Communists to carve up China and most poignant for the author the vicious cyclef purges rchestrated by Chairman Mao that discredited and crushed millions f people including her parentsIncludes black and white photographsFamily treeChronologyM.
Read book Wild Swans Three Daughters f China BY Jung Chang – jimmychooshoes.us
Father is close Mother is close but neither is as close as Chairman Mao A fascinating description f The Heretic's Handbook (Kindle Single) one family s experiencesf China s political upheavals across the 20th century focusing n Jung Chang s grandmother mother and then herself Although the family are fairly privileged much f the time they still experience great hardships being a Party member r even Party fficial was no guarantee Monsieur de Saint-George: Virtuoso, Swordsman, Revolutionary: A Legendary Life Rediscovered of immunity from persecution and sometimes tortureHard to categorise but don t be dauntedIt s part biographyautobiography and part a historical political psychological expositionf how Communist China came into being and how it maintained its hold Garden of The Gods on its citizens even during extreme hardship such as famine However it has the readabilityf a novel eschewing sheer horror and dry history uite an achievementThis book can seem daunting because f its size subject matter and fame but it s actually a riveting read and although some f the content is harrowing the writing style is very easy going It is a complex story but it is not confusingIt s subtitled Three daughters The Fruits of Graft: Great Depressions Then and Now of China but it s a story for everyone Strong women are in the foreground butne f the most powerfully drawn characters is Jung Chang s father born poor largely self educated who loved literature was a passionate and principled Communist putting Party before family rising to power as an fficial but who couldn t cope when he saw his beliefs being violated in the name Musical Mathematics: On the Art and Science of Acoustic Instruments of the PartyContradictions inherent in the system They verbally attacked eachther with Mao s uotations making cynical use Goig of his guru like elusiveness it was easy to select a uotationf Mao s to suit any situation Where Alligators Sleep or even both sidesf the same argument Although I have read uite a few books about China this Saraswati Park one gets to the heartf the contradictions Ten Weeks with Chinese Bandits of The Party and how to brainwash a vast nation far better than manythers When Jung Chang subseuently wrote a biography f Mao she d already done much f the groundwork in Wild SwansBrutality and hypocrisy Young And Naive, Wasted Years of various kinds are described but it s somef the subtler hardships that were especially vivid I find it extraordinary that strong family ties could coexist with couples not allowed to live together and an apparent casualnessresignation Ebekulak of children left to live with wet nurses relativesr in boarding nurseries for years Image Scene from The Red Detachment Israeli Soldier Girl of Womenne Understories of the Eight Model Operasf the Cultural Revolution SourceDuring the Cultural Revolution which began when Jung Chan was a teenager ignorance was glorified even in universities and beautiful artefacts destroyed the family were expelled from the Commissar official compound and sent to live in rooms in anld mansion Beauty was so despised that my family was sent to this lovely house as a punishmentUnexpected levityThere is humour too sending those studying English to a southern port to practise by talking to foreign sailors not being able to rename a street whose sign was too high and traffic chaos when it was decided that red was a positive colour so Commissary Kitchen: My Infamous Prison Cookbook oughtn t to mean stop The extraordinary degreef rganisation in some aspects f life and none in thers aligned with my expectations but also highlighted contradictions such as being sent to learn from the peasants with no guidance as to what was to be learnt nor account f the peasants not wanting extra mouths attached to not very useful handsFlawsThe main problems are minor but nonetheless irritating Although the political history is explained very well because it is also autobiographical important events that didn t affect the family such as the Long March are barely mentioned and this is where its confused identity between biography and political text book are a weakness People refer to Making Instruments Count others by relationship my mother my father s mother in law etc which is confusing when different characters talk about their relatives without using names Some passages sound clich d that is partly because I have read manyther books The Kangaroo Pouch: A Story About Gestational Surrogacy For Young Children on similar subjects but it is also because at times the writing style actually is somewhat banalNevertheless this is an insightful accessible and enjoyable bookHorror and hopeThere are many horrors in this book though generally not graphically described but I didn t find it depressing the indomitable spiritf many f the people coupled with the fact I know Jung Chang is now happy and successful give an air f hopeFreedomChina s people are still far from free but having read this book and travelled round China in 92 and 08 the transformation is remarkable and ngoing It s a crowded country but also ne f tranuil beautyImage The calm f Shennong Stream a tributary Ramayana Vol 1 of the Yangtze April 2008 Onef the most fascinating books I have ever read Not nly do I feel I got an honest history f communist China its story plays ut like a novel I never wanted to put it down Chang excels at pulling it together for you showing you the differences between her Grandmo If you read nly Desire Lines one book about twentieth century China let this be thene A mish mash f personal memoir family saga history feminist literature and global and Chinese politics Wild Swans Three Daughters f China covers it all vividly The book covers the life f Jung Chang s grandmother her mother and herself ver the course Clicking of a China that was constantly changing in response to the changing times and the challenges it was facingChang startsff with her grandmother s story a concubine to a feudal lord she managed to escape to freedom with her daughter Chang s mother who in turn became a rebel and supported the communists Chang herself appears to be the least rebellious f these three women but that doesn t detract from her strength in facing the daily challenges f living in Communist China under Madman MaoOne Six-Fingered Stud of the most interesting things I found about this book was how it seamlessly depicted the enormous changes that took place in within a hundred years While the grandmother was fully immersed in traditional ways and superstitions this gradually changedver the years Another thing I really loved about this book is how Chang kept challenging the practice f Maoism by demanding why the status f women had not changed and why they were still subject to the ld ideas and customs despite the communist revolution I loved how Chang managed to put her finger n the right places and ask the right uestionsWhile this book is a memoir f ne single family Chang makes the attempt to weave in the broader political and historical issues Lizzie! of the times wherever appropriate This gives Wild Swans a much broader scope than most memoirs and provides a comprehensive understandingf Chinese history and politics ver the last century I really appreciated this as Chang has bviously taken the time to research many things and has managed to keep a distance between her wn experiences and historical factsOne last uestion that does remain to be answered Why has China not eschewed Mao yet It has been than forty years since he died and yet the fficial stance is Snuff Club: An Extreme Horror Novel onef reverence and deification The idea apparently is that it would hurt the image I Remember Beirut of the Communist Party but I genuinely fail to understand why The best thing anyone can do is to show Mao in his full idiocy to the masses But as it stands today his body is preserved and revered It s an insult to the entire country I am not surprised Wild Swans is banned in China as well as allf the Il russo other books by ChangIf you have even a remote interest in China Chinese people Chinese historyr Chinese politics this book is a must read At fi. An alternative cover for this ISBN can be found hereIn Wild Swans Jung Chang recounts the evocative unsettling and insistently gripping story As You Are: Ignite Your Charisma, Reclaim Your Confidence, Unleash Your Masculinity of how three generationsf women in her family fared in the political maelstrom f China during the 20th century Chang's grandmother was a warlord's concubine Her gently raised mother struggled with hardships.