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Bitter Winds P: A Memoir of My Years in China's Gulag Paperback – 4 May 1995


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey Bass; New Ed edition (4 May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471114251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471114253
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 2.1 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,214,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Shanghai in 1948, the final year of Nationalist rule, was a city of extremes. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Harry Wu spent 19 years in a hellish Chinese Gulag for having come from a Bourgeouis background , and having been judged as insufficiently reformed into a 'new Socialist person'.
Here he documents the conditions in the Chinese gulag system , a giant factory of torture , starvation and death.
Over 60 million Chinese have died since the Communists seized power in China in 1949.
It is a story of the unbelievable brutality and evil of Maoist China , that still continues today. It is also a story of survival , and the unbelievable odds under which Harry Wu survived. He dedicates this powerful expose to the millions who died. And still Red China remains one of the most opressive and brutal totalitarian dictatorships on earth today.

It is a travesty that Red China enjoys such international standing and was even awarded the 2008 Olympic Games
More must be done to expose and oppose China's genocidal tyranny.

After having gone into exile in the 1980's , Harry Wu returned secretly to China in 1991 to film the conditions in the hideous death factory gulags.
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Format: Paperback
In the flood of Chinese autobiographies that followed the publication of Wild Swans, Harry Wu felt that there were none that dealt with his particular experiences in prison. Wu served a sentence after being declared a rightist and remained in there long after the official ending of his term. Wu describes the Chinese gulag system frankly and tries not to let his emotions overrule his writing, because he is aware that his book is a valuable historical source. We also hear about his youth and the circumstances that saw him being given the rightist label that would lead to his arrest and imprisonment. It's a harrowing and difficult read, but a stunning expose of the oppressive methods that the Chinese government under Mao used to remain in totalitarian control.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is amongst my best ever biographies - it is so good I have recently re-read it. You won't believe what Harry Wu went through in a Chinese Gulag (prison) and he survived! He was tortured and starved and what was his crime? He was the son of a wealthy Shanghai banker during the period in China when it was a sin to be anything but an uneducated peasant. What a remarkable book and extremely well written.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Chinese Revolution impacted her people in many dramatic ways. This is a story of just one of many, whose lives were changed forever.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The book is a convincing expose of Communist Chinese cruelty 9 Oct. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Bitter Winds is Harry Wu's convincing story of his 19 years in the Red Chinese gulag, the government's slave labor camp system for political dissidents and common criminals. Committed without trial, charges or definite sentence, Harry survived years of senseless political indoctrination, forced labor, beatings, the brutality of fellow prisoners, cold, and starvation. His only crimes were his status as a member of the pre-revolutionary Chinese middle class and his candid criticism of the Communist Party done at the party's invitation. The difference between the terror suffered by Harry and the Stalinist death camps is that China's concentration camps continue to this day. Why didn't someone do something about the Nazi and Soviet camps? Why does the U.S. State Dept. ignore the Red Chinese murders occurring today? Today's leaders of China are undoubtedly proud of their camp system, patterned after that of their erstwhile ally Jos. Stalin, which was revealed in books like Victor Herman's Coming Out of the Ice and the recent account Man Is Wolf to Man.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Now I Know 19 May 2001
By P. Lambert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've been very aware of the Holocaust and all its horrors and injustices. I have seen movies, read articles, read books; all the information is there. But the Cultural Revolution? I only knew that it happened in China - I wasn't even sure what years it occured. I had no concept of its irrational and unjust practices. No idea of the horrible lengths of time people were incarcerated, no idea of the revolting conditions and unspeakable starvation. Harry Wu is right. He did need to write this and inform us. I kept thinking back to my own life during the years he was describing. 1960-61-62? graduating from college, getting married and having my first child. Did I have my head in the sand or did we not have the coverage of events that we have today? I didn't know (or maybe wasn't interested) in events on the other side of the world - except to urge my children to clean their plates because children in China were starving. I had no idea! Harry Wu writes candidly, clearly and courageously. This is a book that I will not forget and will urge friends to read. I travel to China in June for 3 weeks. All the people I will see who are my age (62) experienced some form of repression, indignity, involvement - the list goes on. How I admire them and honor them for their perserverance. Thank you, Harry Wu!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Harry Wu could have taught Kafka a thing or two. 19 July 1995
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Bitter Winds" is at once fascinating and horrifying.I knew that China was (and still is) a scary placeto be on the wrong side of the government, but nothing can bring it home like a first-hand account. Harry Wu spent 19 years of his life in prison camps and forced labor camps all over China for crimes no more serious than speaking his mind too openly on a few occasions. He was forced to endure the most humiliating treatment imaginable under terrible conditions including near starvation during China's famines, where the prisoners had it even worse than the normal citizens. If you worry about the thought police, read this book and it will put your worries in perspective -- though certainly not to rest. Now that Wu is again incarcerated in China, where he was trying to gather more information on the forced labor system currently in operation, this book is that much more timely.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Fire 5 Dec. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I had the pleasure of having coffee with Mr. Harry Wu one evening. Hearing him talk about China over that cup of coffee was a moving experience that I will never forget. His book carries that same fire. The book acquaints one with the Chinese people, their deep suffering, and even brings one to a greater understanding of suffering in anyone. Also, the book is simply written, so it is easy to read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Shocking expose of China's hideous gulags that still exist today 1 Sept. 2005
By Gary Selikow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Harry Wu spent 19 years in a hellish Chinese Gulag for having come from a Bourgeouis background , and having been judged as insufficiently reformed into a 'new Socialist person'.

Here he documents the conditions in the Chinese gulag system , a giant factory of torture , starvation and death.

Over 60 million Chinese have died since the Communists seized power in China in 1949.

It is a story of the unbelievable brutality and evil of Maoist China , that still continues today. It is also a story of survival , and the unbelievable odds under which Harry Wu survived. He dedicates this powerful expose to the millions who died. And still Red China remains one of the most opressive and brutal totalitarian dictatorships on earth today.

It is a travesty that Red China enjoys such international standing and was even awarded the 2008 Olympic Games

More must be done to expose and oppose China's genocidal tyranny.

After having gone into exile in the 1980's , Harry Wu returned secretly to China in 1991 to film the conditions in the hideous death factory gulags.
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