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About Jung Chang
Her 832-page biography of Mao Zedong, Mao: The Unknown Story, written with her husband, the Irish historian Jon Halliday, was published in June 2005.
Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo by Guy Aitchison from London, UK (Names not numbers Uploaded by Snowmanradio) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
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An engrossing record of Mao’s impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love, Jung Chang describes the extraordinary lives and experiences of her family members: her grandmother, a warlord’s concubine; her mother’s struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents’ experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution. Chang was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen, then worked as a peasant, a “barefoot doctor,” a steelworker, and an electrician. As the story of each generation unfolds, Chang captures in gripping, moving—and ultimately uplifting—detail the cycles of violent drama visited on her own family and millions of others caught in the whirlwind of history.
Red Sister, Ching-ling, married the 'Father of China', Sun Yat-sen, and rose to be Mao's vice-chair.
Little Sister, May-ling, became Madame Chiang Kai-shek, first lady of pre-Communist Nationalist China and a major political figure in her own right.
Big Sister, Ei-ling, became Chiang's unofficial main adviser - and made herself one of China's richest women.
All three sisters enjoyed tremendous privilege and glory, but also endured constant mortal danger. They showed great courage and experienced passionate love, as well as despair and heartbreak. They remained close emotionally, even when they embraced opposing political camps and Ching-ling dedicated herself to destroying her two sisters' worlds.
Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister is a gripping story of love, war, intrigue, bravery, glamour and betrayal, which takes us on a sweeping journey from Canton to Hawaii to New York, from exiles' quarters in Japan and Berlin to secret meeting rooms in Moscow, and from the compounds of the Communist elite in Beijing to the corridors of power in democratic Taiwan. In a group biography that is by turns intimate and epic, Jung Chang reveals the lives of three extraordinary women who helped shape twentieth-century China.
The most authoritative life of the Chinese leader every written, Mao: The Unknown Story is based on a decade of research, and on interviews with many of Mao’s close circle in China who have never talked before — and with virtually everyone outside China who had significant dealings with him. It is full of startling revelations, exploding the myth of the Long March, and showing a completely unknown Mao: he was not driven by idealism or ideology; his intimate and intricate relationship with Stalin went back to the 1920s, ultimately bringing him to power; he welcomed Japanese occupation of much of China; and he schemed, poisoned, and blackmailed to get his way. After Mao conquered China in 1949, his secret goal was to dominate the world. In chasing this dream he caused the deaths of 38 million people in the greatest famine in history. In all, well over 70 million Chinese perished under Mao’s rule — in peacetime.
A New York Times Notable Book
Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908) is the most important woman in Chinese history. She ruled China for decades and brought a medieval empire into the modern age.
At the age of sixteen, in a nationwide selection for royal consorts, Cixi was chosen as one of the emperor’s numerous concubines. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a palace coup against the regents appointed by her husband and made herself the real ruler of China—behind the throne, literally, with a silk screen separating her from her officials who were all male.
In this groundbreaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Cixi fought against monumental obstacles to change China. Under her the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state: industries, railways, electricity, the telegraph and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry. It was she who abolished gruesome punishments like “death by a thousand cuts” and put an end to foot-binding. She inaugurated women’s liberation and embarked on the path to introduce parliamentary elections to China. Chang comprehensively overturns the conventional view of Cixi as a diehard conservative and cruel despot.
Cixi reigned during extraordinary times and had to deal with a host of major national crises: the Taiping and Boxer rebellions, wars with France and Japan—and an invasion by eight allied powers including Britain, Germany, Russia and the United States. Jung Chang not only records the Empress Dowager’s conduct of domestic and foreign affairs, but also takes the reader into the depths of her splendid Summer Palace and the harem of Beijing’s Forbidden City, where she lived surrounded by eunuchs—one of whom she fell in love, with tragic consequences. The world Chang describes here, in fascinating detail, seems almost unbelievable in its extraordinary mixture of the very old and the very new.
Based on newly available, mostly Chinese, historical documents such as court records, official and private correspondence, diaries and eyewitness accounts, this biography will revolutionize historical thinking about a crucial period in China’s—and the world’s—history. Packed with drama, fast paced and gripping, it is both a panoramic depiction of the birth of modern China and an intimate portrait of a woman: as the concubine to a monarch, as the absolute ruler of a third of the world’s population, and as a unique stateswoman.
À l’âge de seize ans, Cixi fut retenue parmi les nombreuses compagnes de l’empereur comme concubine royale. À la mort de celui-ci en 1861, leur fils de cinq ans lui succéda sur le trône. Cixi organisa aussitôt avec la complicité de l’impératrice officielle qui elle n’avait pas d’héritier mâle, un coup d’état qui fit d’elle la véritable souveraine de la Chine.
Sous sa férule, cet antique pays se dota d’à peu près tout ce qui caractérise un état moderne : des industries, des chemins de fer, l’électricité, le télégraphe, sans oublier une armée et une marine équipées à la pointe du progrès. Et ce fut elle qui abolit d’atroces châtiments tels que « la mort des mille coupures » et mit un terme au bandage des pieds.
Elle dut faire face à des crises nationales décisives : la rébellion des Boxers, les guerres contre la France et le Japon, l’invasion de huit puissances alliées, dont la Grande-Bretagne, l’Allemagne, la Russie et les États-Unis.
Jung Chang propulse le lecteur au cœur du splendide Palais d’Été et du harem de la cité interdite où Cixi vivait entourée d’eunuques. Elle évoque avec un art consommé du récit, qui a contribué au succès planétaire des Cygnes sauvages, un monde révolu avec un luxe de détails fascinants, dignes d’une superproduction cinématographique.
Traduit de l’anglais par Marie Boudewyn
O livro ataca o heroísmo da Longa Marcha, discorre sobre a ajuda financeira e militar da União Soviética de Stálin para a criação e o fortalecimento do Partido Comunista chinês e desqualifica os relatos de que os rebeldes comunistas teriam enfrentado os japoneses na Segunda Guerra Mundial.
Os autores mostram como Mao concentrou-se em expandir seu domínio durante quase três décadas, ainda que isso resultasse no sofrimento e na morte de dezenas de milhões de cidadãos. Para se perpetuar no poder, instituiu um clima de denúncias, perseguições e terror. Na intimidade, ele é descrito como um pai omisso, marido infiel e amigo pouco confiável.
Mao foi um dos lançamentos mais esperados no mundo todo e causou grande impacto quando foi publicado, no Reino Unido, em 2005.
Jung Chang ci racconta la loro storia in una biografia tanto epica quanto intima: gli affari di una nazione in subbuglio, gli incontri segreti nelle sale di Mosca, i colloqui con gli Stati Uniti, gli esili a Berlino, le fughe in Giappone e la guerra si intrecciano ai sentimenti di amore e odio e al glamour delle loro vite.
Una storia finora sconosciuta, il racconto delle esistenze incredibili di tre sorelle che grazie all’istruzione e all’intelligenza dominarono la Cina, influenzarono le politiche estere degli Stati più potenti di metà Novecento e lasciarono un segno indelebile nella Storia di una nazione.
»Die drei Schwestern« ist ein fesselndes Epos über Liebe, Krieg, Exil, Intrigen, Glamour und Verrat. Jung Chang erzählt die Leben dreier außergewöhnlicher Frauen nach, die China im 20. Jahrhundert maßgeblich prägten.
Die fundierte Studie eines entscheidenden Moments der Zeitgeschichte – Chinas Weg in die Moderne – und das detaillierte Porträt einer schillernden Figur, verfasst von einer weltweit anerkannten Expertin für die Geschichte Chinas.