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Red Flower of China: An Autobiography

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  46 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
"The Cultural Revolution had transformed me into a devil," writes Zhai. In 1966, at age 15, she led a Red Guard brigade that tortured Chinese citizens branded counterrevolutionaries. She beat innocent people to death and had others exiled; her squad raided homes and murdered people. Now a professor of engineering in British Columbia, Zhai expresses remorse and guilt rather ...more
Paperback, 245 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Soho Press (first published May 1993)
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Jan 20, 2010 Tifnie rated it liked it
Shelves: autobiography
I had a difficult time reading this book. I not only found the author to be juvenile in her writing, but the style was choppy, disorganized, and unemotional.

However, with that being said, the story was informative.

Red Flower of China is about a young girls plight during the Cultural Revolution. How Chairman Mao started Red Guards in primary school, which brainwashed young leaders who then turned on fellow friends, neighbors, and even their own families to denounce anyone who was Anti-Cultural Re
Jennifer Dejager
Mar 18, 2013 Jennifer Dejager rated it liked it
Red Flower of China begins when Zhai is a young, little girl. She grows up in a poorer family. Zhai's mother and father are workers with a very low income. Zhai goes to school, but when she reaches middle school, one day the teachers stop coming. Mao Zedong, a leader in China, wants a revolution. To do so he uses students as Red Guards to persecute men and women who were known as those against the revolution. When Mao ended the revolution things changed, now it was the Red Guards turns to stand ...more
Mar 31, 2015 Vicki rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-books
Fascinating first-hand account of China's Cultural Revolution. Though the writing style isn't very impressive, the message is. Zhenua does a wonderful job explaining how individuals got caught up in the revolution without really understanding it due to social pressure and national pride. Though she wants the reader to understand the emotions and thoughts of the time she does not try to justify the many atrocities that occurred nor her own role it.
May 05, 2011 Wendy rated it really liked it
I read this a long time ago as a sophomore in high school, when I was roughly the same age as the girl in the book. Because of this, I identified with the main character, yet was profoundly shocked by the things she willingly did in the name of communism. Vivid memories remain with me to this day, especially the scene in which she goes with some classmates to beat up one the their own school teachers who has fallen out of favor with the new regime. Educational and readable. Recommended.
Feb 20, 2013 Colleen rated it it was ok
A badly written autobiographical novel of a young woman swept into the hysteria of the Cultural Revolution. I had hoped for some sort of answers about motivations for actions other than "that's the way it was" but I didn't find them in this book - and maybe coming to terms with one's motivations for harmful mob mentality actions aren't helpful anyway.
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Feb 20, 2015 Monique rated it really liked it
Shocking story about a young girl during the Culture Revolution in China.
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