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Hungry Ghosts by Jasper Becker
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Hungry Ghosts (1996)

by Jasper Becker

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Scary stuff kiddies. ( )
  kimgroome | Dec 4, 2011 |
Jasper Becker in Hungry Ghosts: "North Korea seems in the grip of a death-cult psychosis that leaves it impervious to rational notions of self-interest" (339). Bruce Cumings on the kind of racism that is allowed to run free when talking about North Korea: "Prominent Americans lose any sense of embarrassment or self-consciousness about the intricate and knotty problems of racial difference and Otherness when it comes to North Korea and its leaders" (49).I'm sure there are better books about the Great Leap Forward out there. The author doesn't even try to hide his pro-West, anti-Communist, orientalist biases. ( )
  rayeula | Jan 18, 2011 |
This is a sobering book. It will keep you up at night and astound you that such things actually happened. But - I also got a different look at Mao. For the longest time I just thought he was horrible. Now I think there are many things he didn't really know about. The lengths his people would go to in order to make it look like his idea's were working were unbelievable. Everyone was so afraid of not being a success that they were very deceptive. I recommend this book to give you a different look at how Mao got away with so much. Warning - if canniblism is too much for you to handle, do not read this book. It is harsh. ( ( )
  autumnesf | Jul 20, 2006 |
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For Ru who supported me with tea and sympathy
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The year 1960 was the darkest moment in the long, long history of China.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805056688, Paperback)

This first authoritative expose of the 1958-1962 famine prompted by China's collectivization plan, "The Great Leap Forward," comes at a time when the cult of Mao is alive and well inside China, and while agents of Chinese influence are able to arrange audiences with a President. Via his painstaking research and reporting that included two treks through interior Chinese provinces, Becker tells how the famine occurred because ill-trained peasants were forced to undertake a gigantic and centralized industrial and agricultural expansion. The new factories, canals, and irrigation systems failed spectacularly, and in contrast to propaganda boasts of having economically outstripped the U.S., when in reality the populace was driven by starvation to cannibalism, slavery, and madness.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:18 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the tradition of John Hersey's Hiroshima, journalist Jasper Becker's penetrating account of China's four-year famine uncovers the truth behind one of the darkest chapters in history. Hungry Ghosts is the horrific story of the state-sponsored terror, cannibalism, torture, and murder during Mao Zedong's "Great Leap Forward," an attempt at utopian engineering gone wrong. This is the unforgettable story of the century's greatest human rights disaster, in which more people died than in Stalin's purges and the Holocaust put together. Becker conducted hundreds of interviews and spent years immersed in painstaking detective work to examine the unprecedented madness that plagued China between 1958 and 1962. For the first time since it was so ruthlessly and categorically erased from history, Becker unearths what really happened during these years, and how the famine and terror could have been kept a secret for so long.… (more)

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