Letter from V.S.:
Thanks for the information on China
Have you read 2 famous books on China
by 2 American journalists? -
"Red Star over China" by Edgar Snow (1938) and "China
Shakes the World"
(1949) by Jack Belden?
Edgar Snow's narrative had great impact
on myself in understanding what it was all about. It was
a slightly romantic account from the CCCP viewpoint which
I retained. Jack Belden was more neutral. However, his
book nevertheless also had an impact on many including
myself in giving a more balanced view.
This is what Jack Belden said in 1949.
He hit the bullseye about the way China could go...Which
it did in the 1980s. Belden of course had the opportunity
to see it happening before he died in 1989. Sometimes the
truth is slightly unpleasant!
Shakes the World
There are several books written by
the Westerners that shaped Western understanding of the
Chinese Revolution led by Mao Zedong and his Communist Party, which include Jack Belden's China Shakes
the World, Edgar Snow's Red Star Over China,
Graham Peck's Two Kinds of Time, and Theodore
White and Annalee Jacoby's Thunder Out of China.
The first part of Beldon's book is
based on eye-witness account from individuals - such as
Gold Flower, an woman who was abused under the rule of
Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shet) and his highly corrupted
Nationalist Party (Kuomintang); Field Mouse, a guerrilla
commander; The Beggar Writer; and the Guerrilla Girl -
which demonstrates convincingly that the Communists had
the strong allegiance and sincere support from Chinese
However, the author also observed that
while “the Communists took power by making love to the
people of China,” and “won the people to their cause” by
meeting their needs better, on the process the Party also
built a “wholly new power apparatus", therefore despite
the leaders of Chinese Communists have sincerely intended to represent the interests
of the common people, the new power apparatus may also
“elude their intentions and tend to exist for its own sake.”
He warned that “there may arise a new elite, a set of managers
standing above the Chinese masses”.
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