Yan Jiaqi, one of the principal leaders of China's pro-democracy movement, and his wife, Gao Gao, a noted sociologist, set out to write a comprehensive narrative account of the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution, which occurred in the second decade after Mao Zedong and his comrades came to power. It appeared in Hong Kong in 1986, and was quickly banned by the Communist government. Not surprisingly, censorship and restricted circulation in China resulted in underground reproduction and serialization. The work was thus widely read, coveted, and appreciated by a populace who had just freed itself from the cultural drought and political dread of the event. Yan and Gao later spent two years revising and expanding their work. The present volume, Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution, is based on the revised edition and has been masterfully edited and translated by D.W.Y. Kwok in consultation with the authors. It makes available for the first time in English Yan and Gao's remarkable record of the traumatic Cultural Revolution decade and remains the only single-volume narrative history of the revolution written from an independent and personal perspective. It is a sweeping historical account, notable for its moral courage, for its empathy, for the significance of the questions it addresses, and for its sobering, ultimately tragic view of human behavior.
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