History

Critical Book Review on Red China Blues My Long March from Mao to Now

She decided to move to China to study and renew her ties with her native land. This was in 1976 – the height of Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Leaving behind rock and roll, the Western society she described as a hopeless mess of racism, exploitation and shopping malls (Wong 6) she eagerly welcomed a new life in China. It was her chance to be re-educated, to cleanse herself of her bourgeois attitudes. She was ecstatic at working in the paddy fields, believing in Mao’s dictum that physical labor was good for the soul (Wong 23). But reality soon set in, and Wong realized that much of what she endured in her 6-year stay were but lies and propaganda.In this book, Wong writes with irony so that it allows the reader to understand what she felt in her early years in China and, what she feels now. All throughout the book, she discusses what is happening to the government and the Chinese at the time. Her descriptions of the country were excellent, her coverage of the Tiananmen massacre, surreal. She was a true believer of Mao’s endless class struggle, and in a deeply captivating narrative, she tells how the horrors proliferated by the Party has led her to the realization that the worker’s paradise is not real. Through the book, Wong attempts to share to the Western world what life is like in China, and why it is important to know the country’s unique history.In the latter part of the book, she talks about where she thinks China is going and theorizes how the new middle class may finally bring peace and prosperity to China. She sees the single-children phenomenon can bring about a new revolution because for the first time, these generations of Chinese are growing up more interested in themselves than their familial duty.Once called the Sleeping Giant, China has finally woken up to become a world leader. It has the biggest economy in the world, and is considered as one of the top-producing countries today.

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