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Great Leap Backward by Steve Tsang

In Asia, books, government, history, politics on October 31, 2012 at 18:44

From: Great Leap Backward by Steve Tsang, Literary Review, http://www.literaryreview.co.uk

The author saw his father starved to death but believed the official version of history and even joined the Party. He only found out the reality three decades later as he started his research for this book. As a senior Xinhua journalist he had privileged access to provincial archives. He cross-checked his findings against survivors’ stories to devastating effect, as he tells how at least 36 million Chinese citizens were persecuted or starved to death as the famine was sustained for over three years.

Yang’s research confirms that the official account, which blames Mother Nature and the Soviet Union, is make-believe. No unusual natural disaster or abnormal weather conditions occurred that could have caused the famine. He also proves that the withdrawal of Soviet aid during the period could not have had anything more than the most tangential impact on the food supply in China.

Read the essay

Reposted with permission from: Literary Review

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