"Socialism Is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of the New China

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Atlas, Apr 17, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 357 pages
23 Reviews

A spirited memoir by a former Chinese factory worker who grew up in Nanjing, participated in the Tiananmen Square protest, and ended up an international journalist.

Lijia Zhang worked as a teenager in a factory producing missiles designed to reach North America, queuing every month to give evidence to the "period police" that she wasn't pregnant. In the oppressive routine of guarded compounds and political meetings, Zhang's disillusionment with "The Glorious Cause" drove her to study English, which strengthened her intellectual independence—from bright, western-style clothes, to organizing the largest demonstration by Nanjing workers in support of the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989. By narrating the changes in her own life, Zhang chronicles the momentous shift in China's economic policy: her factory, still an ICBM manufacturer, won the bid to cast a giant bronze Buddha as the whole country went mad for profit.

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Review: "Socialism Is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of the New China

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

Sometimes it really is the book's cover that makes me want to read it. I was looking for a book about China, and out popped this beauty with a satirical title and goofy propaganda on the front. Sold ... Read full review

Review: "Socialism Is Great!": A Worker's Memoir of the New China

User Review  - Karin Witnauer - Goodreads

Really liked this book. It inspires me being stuck in a boring job, to do something. If Lijia is able to follow her dream in China, I should be able to do the same in America. Really liked it! Read full review

About the author (2008)

Lijia Zhang was born and raised in Nanjing. Her articles have appeared in many international publications, including South China Morning Post, Japan Times, the Independent (London), Washington Times, and Newsweek. She is a regular speaker on BBC Radio and NPR. She now lives in Beijing with her two daughters.

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