Book Reviews of Life and Death in Shanghai

Life and Death in Shanghai
Life and Death in Shanghai
Author: Nien Cheng
ISBN-13: 9780140108705
ISBN-10: 014010870X
Publication Date: 5/3/1988
Pages: 547
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 39

4 stars, based on 39 ratings
Publisher: Penguin Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

10 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Life and Death in Shanghai on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This is a book that I didn't want to put down. It is the true account of Nien Cheng's life during the Chinese revolution starting in 1966. Her life, as she knew it, would be changed forever. It is a story of personal perseverence under incredible circumstances.
Great book!
reviewed Life and Death in Shanghai on + 87 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This one I could NOT put down. One of the great inspirational reads that helped me finsih college and go to Graduate school in my late forties. Thank you Nien Cheng.
reviewed Life and Death in Shanghai on + 384 more book reviews
this is a memorable memoir set in China during the cultural revolution.the author is imprisioned for years and reads all of Mao's writings. after her release, she looks for her daughter..sigh
IIRC, she lives in DC now
reviewed Life and Death in Shanghai on + 552 more book reviews
Annotation
Here is the haunting, inspirational account of Nien Cheng's six-and-a-half years as a political prisoner during Communist China's Cultural Revolution. "A moving affirmation of the capacity for human endurance."--Los Angeles Times.

From the Publisher
In August 1966 a group of Red Guards ransacked the home of Nien Cheng. Her background made her an obvious target for the fanatics of the Cultural Revolution: educated in London, the widow of an official of Chiang Kaishek's regime, and an employee of Shell Oil, Nien Cheng enjoyed comforts that few of her compatriots could afford. When she refused to confess that any of this made her an enemy of the state, she was placed in solitary confinement, where she would remain for more than six years. Life and Death in Shanghai is the powerful story of Nien Cheng's imprisonment, of the deprivation she endured, of her heroic resistance, and of her quest for justice when she was released. It is the story, too, of a country torn apart by the savage fight for power Mao Tse-tung launched in his campaign to topple party moderates. An incisive, rare personal account of a terrifying chapter in twentieth-century history, Life and Death in Shanghai is also an astounding portrait of one woman's courage.

From The Critics
Publishers Weekly
This gripping account of a woman caught up in the maelstrom of China's Cultural Revolution begins quietly. In 1966, only the merest rumblings of political upheaval disturbed the gracious life of the author, widow of the manager of Shell Petroleum in China. As the rumblings fast became a cataclysm, Cheng found herself a target of the revolution: Red Guards looted her home, literally grinding underfoot her antique porcelain and jade treasures; and she was summarily imprisoned, falsely accused of espionage. Despite harsh privationeven tortureshe refused to confess and was kept in solitary confinement for over six years, suffering deteriorating health and mounting anxiety about the fate of her only child, Meiping. When the political climate softened, and she was released, Cheng learned that her fears were justified: Meiping had been beaten to death when she refused to denounce her mother. The candor and intimacy of this affecting memoir make it addictive reading. Its intelligence, passion and insight assure its place among the distinguished voices of our age proclaiming the ascendancy of the human spirit over tyranny. Cheng is now a U.S. resident. BOMC main selection; author tour. (June 1)

Library Journal
Cheng's widely acclaimed book recounts in compelling specifics her persecution and imprisonment at the hands of Mao Zedong's ``Cultural Revolution'' (1966-1976). Inquisitors accused her of being a ``spy'' and ``imperialist,'' but during the harrowing years of solitary confinement she never gave in, never confessed a lie. We read this, not so much for historical analysis, but, like the literature of the Gulag in Russia, for an example of a humane spirit telling terrible truths honestly, without bitterness or cynicism. Highly recommended. BOMC main selection. Charles W. Hayford, History Dept., Northwestern Univ., Evanston, Ill.
reviewed Life and Death in Shanghai on + 2 more book reviews
This is a must read on communist China, it gives the real inside story with no frills yet is as exciting as a novel.
reviewed Life and Death in Shanghai on + 18 more book reviews
Life in china like you never knew. See how it was to live in comunist China's first years under Chiang Kai-sheks regime. Unbelievable!
reviewed Life and Death in Shanghai on + 907 more book reviews
I found myself having to wait for a few hours and no book!! The only place near was an upscale used book store and i'm thinking i'm gonna end up paying $6.00 for a used book! Yup I did but the books were beautiful and this one i'd of paid double for. LIFE AND DEATH IN SHANGHAI was from the very beginning a page turner. In 1966, the year Mao launched the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution Ms. Cheng's house was invaded by a group of Red Guards and she was arrested. Although this happened during a political revolution this book was by far not bogged down with political talk. This is the true account, in her own words, of her capture and imprisonment while being held in solitary confinement for nearly 7 years suffering cold, hunger, disease,terror,and humiliation. I couldn't put this book down. I fell in love with Ms. Cheng. I'd read this again someday as I truely truely enjoyed this beautiful $6.00 used book.
reviewed Life and Death in Shanghai on + 6 more book reviews
This book was really well written. I really admire Nien Cheng's sense of survival along with her sense of humor. She really is an awesome lady.Classy.
reviewed Life and Death in Shanghai on + 143 more book reviews
From the back cover: In August 1966 a group of Red Guards ransacked the home of Nien Cheng. Her background made her an obvious target for the fanatics of the Cultural Revolution: educated in London, the widow of an official of Chiang Kai-shek's regime, and an employee of Shell Oil, Nien Cheng enjoyed comforts that few of her compatriots could afford. When she refused to confess that any of this made her an enemy of the state, she was placed in solitary confinement, where she would remain for more than six years.

Life and Death in Shanghai is the powerful story of Nien Cheng's imprisonment, of the deprivation she endured, of her heroic resistance, and of her quest for justice when she was released. It is the story, too, of a country torn apart by the savage fight for power Mae Tse-tung launched in his campaign to topple party moderates. An incisive, rare personal account of a terrifying chapter in twentieth-centry history.
reviewed Life and Death in Shanghai on + 23 more book reviews
Very enjoyable.