Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from LA to BeijingPaperback
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- Publisher: ATLANTIC BOOKS
- Format: Paperback | 384 pages
- Dimensions: 128mm x 198mm x 32mm | 395g
- Publication date: 1 June 2009
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1843549638
- ISBN 13: 9781843549635
- Sales rank: 892,139
Ian Buruma approaches China through the stories of its dissidents: ordinary, brave people who oppose a regime that uses repression in the name of social order. What does dissidence mean in an authoritarian society? And what chance do they have of succeeding in the face of the largest remaining dictatorship on earth? Who speaks for China? Is it the old men of the politburo or activists like Wei Jingshsheng, who spent eighteen years in prison for writing a democratic manifesto? Is China's future to be found amid the boisterous sleaze of an electoral campaign in Taiwan, or in the maneuvers by which ordinary residents of Beijing quietly resist the authority of the state? These are among the questions that Ian Buruma poses in this enlightening and often moving tour of Chinese dissidence. Travelling through the US, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the People's Republic, Ian Buruma tells the stories of Chinese rebels who dare to stand up to their rulers, exploring their chances of success in the face of the most powerful dictatorship on earth. From the exiles of Tiananmen to the hidden Christians of rural China, he brings alive the human dimension to their struggles and reveals the world's most secretive superpower through the eyes of its dissidents.
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Ian Buruma is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Human Rights and Journalism at Bard College in New York state. His previous books include God's Dust, The Wages of Guilt, Anglomania and Murder in Amsterdam, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Current Interest Book and was shortlisted for The Samuel Johnson Prize. He was the recipient of the 2008 Shorenstein Journalism Award, which honoured him for his distinguished body of work, and the 2008 Erasmus Prize.
"Ian Buruma is a powerful storyteller. . . . "Bad Elements" is the best book yet written on Chinese dissidents." --"The New York Review of Books ""[Buruma is] one of the sharpest minds writing about Asia. . . . A brilliant examination . . . impressively comprehensive." "--The Wall Street Journal" "[Buruma's] sharply observed and well-drawn portraits of obstinate, courageous and sometimes flawed people inspire admiration and compassion....A vivid history of repression and resistance." "--The New York Times Book Review" "An intellectual travelogue that gradually circles Beijing before ending up there...Buruma has a good eye for the small ironies of exile." --"The Washington Post Book World"