Eldest Son: Zhou Enlai and the Making of Modern China, 1898-1976 (Kodansha Globe)

Suyin, Han, Han, Suyin

Verlag: Kodansha America, 1995
ISBN 10: 1568360843 / ISBN 13: 9781568360843
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Inhaltsangabe: Zhou Enlai was one of the greatest statesmen of the twentieth century. Long overshadowed by the more visible - and charismatic - Mao Dzedong, he and his life and extraordinary accomplishments remain little recognized outside China, where he is still revered as the beloved father of the modern nation. In Eldest Son, Han Suyin brings this towering figure to life in a profoundly human and intimate portrait - the first full-scale biography of the late premier to be published in English. Between 1956 and 1974, Dr. Han conducted a series of eleven unprecedented interviews with Zhou, each of them lasting for several hours. Drawing upon these encounters, and on further meetings with his widow, his family and colleagues, as well as her unusual access to the Communist Party archives, Dr. Han presents a nuanced portrait of this deeply committed Chinese nationalist and Communist. Here is the full sweep of Zhou's remarkable life: his early schooling in Japan and Europe, his complex and loyal relationship to Mao, his historic meetings with other world leaders such as Khrushchev, Nehru, and Nixon which opened China to the global community. And Dr. Han gives us the private man as well as the public figure: his loving and formative marriage to Deng Yingchao, the murder of his adopted daughter at the hands of the Red Guards, and ultimately his painful battle with cancer. Like no other, Zhou's life is the history of modern China. Through the lens of his experience we see unfolding the dramatic, sometimes violent, decades of change: the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, the galvanizing Long March, the social convulsions of the Great Leap Forward, the violent excesses of the Cultural Revolution, andthe diplomatic rapprochement with the West in the 1970s. Dr. Han weaves these decisive events with the impressions and memories of hundreds of ordinary citizens from every sector of Chinese society to create a rich historical tapestry. Compellingly written, unique in its perspective, Eldest Son is masterful social history and an indispensable portrait of a legendary leader whose political legacy continues to influence the course of China today.

From Kirkus Reviews: A detailed but reverential biography of Chinese political leader Zhou Enlai. Han (30-plus books, including the well-known Love is a Many Splendored Thing) sets a slavishly uncritical tone at the outset, noting that Confucian tradition marks eldest sons for ``uncommon responsibilities and duties.'' Drawing on personal contacts and experiences as well as untranslated archival sources in China, the author goes on to provide an exhaustive version of Zhou's eventful life. Raised by an uncle in Manchuria, he joined the Communist Party in 1922 (at 24) while on a work/study program in Western Europe. Back in China by 1924, Zhou became an active revolutionary and, from 1931 on, Mao Zedong's principal advisor. A cosmopolite and natural envoy, he served as the Communist Party's liaison officer at Chiang Kaishek's WW II headquarters in Chongqing. When the People's Republic of China was established in 1949, Zhou was named Prime Minister, a high-profile post he held until his death in January of 1976. While Han does an acceptable job of suggesting how her resilient and conciliatory subject managed to keep the ship of state afloat despite its helmsman's penchant for plunging into the stormy seas of great leaps forward or cultural revolution, the closest she comes to acknowledging Zhou's complicity in the Politburo purges, repressions, military adventures, and savage doctrinal disputes that consistently convulsed Mao's regime is when she concedes that he frequently ``did things against his own heart.'' Nor does the author modestly disguise her own self- perceived role as a mainstream observer of international affairs (``In the autumn [of 1965], I spoke again with Zhou Enlai about relations with the United States and about the Vietnam War...''). For readers who can get past the hagiographic apologias and the surfeit of exculpatory particulars on ancient enmities: an idiosyncratic text that offers intriguing perspectives on a life story that remains to be more judiciously told. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Titel: Eldest Son: Zhou Enlai and the Making of ...
Verlag: Kodansha America
Erscheinungsdatum: 1995
Zustand: very good

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