The number of publications about life in China during the Cultural Revolution is so large, that it is impossible to read everything in a life time.
Still, there is a distinct gap in the contents of those writings. The academic texts are not accessible to the large public, and the more literary writings tend to focus on the suffering of those ostracised by the revolutionary elite.
What is still missing is an account of everyday life during that period. What did Chinese do, when they were not reciting from the Little Red Book with Mao Zedong’s citations, or parading their teachers or local leaders around the streets?
This book attempts to fill that gap. The reader is taken by the hand and given a peep into the life of ordinary Chinese who had to work to make a living and tried make the best of it with what they had and were allowed to do, through the eyes of foreign students who themselves were trying to make sense of that country in the final year of the Cultural Revolution.
This blog is an augmented teaser of the book. Each week, I will take a few sections of a chapter and put them in a new blog, adding a few thoughts and remarks. The actual text from the book is presented in italics, comments in regular font. Sometimes, I will delete certain parts of the quoted text, which is indicated with . . .