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The Secret Listener: An Ingenue in Mao's Court

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The Secret Listener: An Ingenue in Mao's Court

$ 29.95
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A personal account of life in the orbit of Mao and Zhao En-Lai and one woman's effort to tell what it was like to be at the center of the storm.

The history of China in the twentieth century is comprised of a long series of shocks: the 1911 revolution, the civil war between the communists and the nationalists, the Japanese invasion, the revolution, the various catastrophic campaigns initiated by Chairman Mao between 1949 and 1976, its great
opening to the world under Deng, and the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Yuan-tsung Chen, who is now 90, lived through most of it, and at certain points in close proximity to the seat of communist power. Born in Shanghai in 1929, she came to know Zhou En-Lai-second only to Mao in importance--as a young woman while living in Chungking, where Chiang Kai--Shek's government
had relocated to, during the war against Japan. That connection to Zhou helped her advance after the communists took power, and she obtained a job in one of the culture ministries after the revolution. While there, she frequently engaged with the upper echelon of the party and was a first-hand
witness to some of the purges that the regime regularly initiated. Eventually, the commissar she worked under was denounced in 1956, and she barely escaped being purged herself for exhibiting bourgeois tendencies. Sent to the countryside to further the revolution during the Great Leap Forward of the
late 1950s, she witnessed the mass starvation that ensued. Later, during Cultural Revolution, she and her husband were purged and sent to live in a rough, poor area-a common fate for many intellectuals. She finally escaped to Hong Kong in 1971.

A first-hand account of what life was like in the period before the revolution and in Mao's China, The Secret Listener gives a unique perspective on the era, and Chen's vantage point provides us with a new perspective on the Maoist regime-one of the most radical political experiments in modern
history and a force that genuinely changed the world.

Yuan-tsung Chen is a former official under Mao in the 1950s. She is also the author of the novel The Dragon's Village and a winning survivor from Maoism.

ISBN: 9780197573341

ISBN-10: 9780197573341

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Publication Date: 01/05/2022 - 12:00am

On Sale: 01/05/2022 - 12:00am

Pages: 352

Language: English


Asia - China

Social History

Modern - 20th Century