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Paperback Prisoner of Mao Book

ISBN: 0140041125

ISBN13: 9780140041125

Prisoner of Mao

This description may be from another edition of this product. The ''Prisoner of Mao,'' is a harrowing account of life in China's vast apparatus of prisons and labor camps, describing how Chinese authorities used psychological techniques to coerce the innocent...


Format: Paperback

Condition: Acceptable


1 Available

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Good, but caution

While admitting that this is really a good book, one point has to be given that - what the author described might be too optimistic, and reality is more heavy. I mean, those who read only this book without reading more might get a partial impression. For example, I remember the author said, political prisoners are seldom killed. But 1. they really are, without even a symbolistic trial - this happened sooner after 1949, and the victims are Mr Chiang Kai-shek's party members and government workers. 2. Political prisoners are killed at selected time when needed in order to serve some special purpose (mainly as warnings to others) - this happened frequently after 1966. I in no way doubt the reality of the author's description, but think as a foreigner his experience might be special(though more understandable by western readers). And also, the time he experienced is special - a time people died primarily from starvation, which is a pity but far less cruel, comparing to being killed purely because of opinion, and even showing attitude. After Mr. Bao left, China society became increasingly turbulent. If he stayed there until then, I guess he wont get the mood to "thank" Mao. Another book is strongly recommended: "Captive Spirits" by Mr. Yang Xiguang(Yang Xiaokai). Scott.

One of the best books ever on China

I've been doing China-related stuff for more than three decades. This book, which I've read three times, remains one of my favorites. No other book captures the ghastly and bizarre nature of Chinese Communism better. It's a breezy read and also touches not just on issues related to China but to all of mankind as well. Colleges and high schools should use it.

A Must-Read

It's a crying shame that this book is not currently in print. It offers a fascinating inside look at the Chinese penal system during the trying times of the Great Leap Forward and Sino-Soviet split. Bao Ruo-Wang never loses his ironic detachment and eye for detail. Despite the grim subject matter, "Prisoner of Mao" is actually a very funny book. There's a laugh on every page!

Rare account of seven years in the Chinese gulag

Highly readable account of the author's seven years in the Chinese gulag ("reform through labor") beginning in 1957. Period included the "three years of suffering," when the disastrous results of the Great Leap Forward and poor harvests starved 30 million or more. Labor camp prisoners were used for experiments with anti-famine foods such as paper pulp and marsh plankton food substitutes. Bao Ruo-wang was half Corsican and he was freed in 1964 following French diplomatic recognition of China.
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