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

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Atlas and Company, Apr 17, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 357 pages

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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - fizzypops - LibraryThing

From a historian's perspective, some valuable insights into the realties of daily life in Communist China. As an autobiography I found this pretty weak, and it ended very abruptly, with the reader ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wandering_star - LibraryThing

Lijia is a tomboyish child but also a good student, when at the age of fifteen she has to take up her mother's job in a rocket factory. We follow her life through the next ten years or so, as she ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

I
3
II
12
III
22
IV
34
V
47
VI
58
VII
71
VIII
81
XIX
185
XX
197
XXI
211
XXII
218
XXIII
229
XXIV
242
XXV
250
XXVI
259

IX
90
X
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XI
104
XII
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XIII
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XIV
134
XV
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XVI
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XVII
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XVIII
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XXVII
266
XXVIII
279
XXIX
290
XXX
301
XXXI
310
XXXII
319
XXXIII
327
XXXIV
341
XXXV
345
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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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