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Tombstone: The Untold Story of Mao's Great Famine

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Tombstone: The Untold Story of Mao's Great Famine.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Yang Jisheng(Author) Edward Friedman(Editor) Guo Jian(Translator) Stacy Mosher(Translator)&1more

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Yang Jisheng's Tombstone is the book that broke the silence on of one of history's most terrible crimes

More people died in Mao's Great Famine than in the entire First World War, yet this story has remained largely untold, until now. Still banned in China, Tombstone draws on the author's privileged access to official and unofficial sources to uncover the full human cost of the tragedy, and create an unprecedented work of historical reckoning.

'A book of great importance' Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans

'The first proper history of China's great famine ... So thorough is his documentation that some are already calling Yang "China's Solzhenitsyn"' Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag: A History

A book of great importance (Jung Chang, author of 'Wild Swans')The first proper history of China's great famine ... So thorough is his documentation that some are already calling Yang "China's Solzhenitsyn" (Anne Applebaum, author of 'Gulag: A History')In 1989 hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Chinese died in the June Fourth massacre in Beijing, and within hours hundreds of millions of people around the world had seen images of it on their television screens. In the late 1950s, also in Communist China, roughly the inverse happened: thirty million or more died while the world, then and now, has hardly noticed. If the cause of the Great Famine had been a natural disaster, this double standard might be more understandable. But the causes, as Yang Jisheng shows in meticulous detail, were political. How can the world not look now? (Perry Link, University of California, Riverside)Though a sense of deep anger imbues Yang Jisheng's book, it is all the more powerful for its restraint ... Tombstone meticulously demonstrates that the famine was not only vast, but manmade; and not only manmade but political, born of totalitarianism (Tania Branigan Guardian)Tombstone is not just a history but a political sensation ... rich with details ... there is no doubting Yang Jisheng's immense political courage in compiling and writing it ... His book is not just a tombstone for his father and other famine victims, but for the reputation of the Communist party's leadership at a time when they should have acted (Rana Mitter Guardian)

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Review Text

  • By Guest on 1 April 2017

    Good read

  • By George Norris on 3 June 2014

    Mr Yang knows his stuff - former Communist Party member and journalist for China's state news Xinhua. This book is banned in China.Between 1958-1962 30-40 million died in a man-made famine. (More than died in the Sino-Japaese war of 1937-45, and almost as many as died globally in WWII (40-50m)Communal ownership/productionBy 1956, 96% of peasants in cooperatives, and private ownership banned, but real communes got going in 1958. Mao was especially keen on communal kitchens (banning private cooking) as a way to eradicate the family ("families...every last trace will be eliminated in the future"). They smelting down all private iron cooking utensils to make sure. This meant peasants were reliant on the Party for food- his plan, but at the cost of reducing peasants resilience in famine. By 1960 many of these kitchens simply had no food - people ate tree bark, roots, and cannibalism became prevalent.False reporting1958 - false reporting of harvests (and punishments of those who don't) gets daft- 'Sputnik' commune pronounces 1,000 kg of wheat per-mu, shortly afterwards another claimed 4,200 kg per mu (nearly 100 times the normal yield of 50 kilos per mu). Grain production plummeted by 30% ('58-'60) while reported production soared. Rice saw a similar pattern - allegedly a 70% increase in national production in 1958. Famine deaths could not be reported, even though entire villages were wiped out, Party members had to falsify statistics or face punishments.Confiscation of farmers food for cities and export1959 saw grain exports reach an all time high, at the peak of the famine. At the same time falsely high production reporting meant officials demanded high procurement quotas (for the cities), leaving insufficient for peasants to eat. But during the worst years, grain reserves actually rose - enough to feed 140 million people for an entire war. These were never released.

  • By Ms Tung Chu on 24 April 2016

    A book you must read if you want to know what really happened in China after Mao and his Party took the power in 1949. The writer told us the truth of the so called natural disarster in early 60tys was a man made one and as the stories are very sad to read especially for a person like me was living in that country at that time, I was not able to finish reading it in a short period of time. This book is band in China, so we must try to read it when we are able to get it here from Amazon.


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