Bad Elements by Ian Buruma
Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing

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Synopsis

Who speaks for China? Is it the old men of the politbureau or an activist like Wei Jingshsheng, who spent eighteen years in prison for writing a democratic manifesto? Is China’s future to be found amid the boisterous sleaze of an electoral campaign in Taiwan or in the maneuvers by which ordinary residents of Beijing quietly resist the authority of the state?

These are among the questions that Ian Buruma poses in this enlightening and often moving tour of Chinese dissidence. Moving from the quarrelsome exile communities of the U. S. to Singapore and Hong Kong and from persecuted Christians to Internet “hacktivists,” Buruma captures an entire spectrum of opposition to the orthodoxies of the Communist Party. He explores its historical antecedents its conflicting notions of freedom and the paradoxical mix of courage and cussedness that inspires its members. Panoramic and intimate, disturbing and inspiring, Bad Elements is a profound meditation on the themes of national identity and political struggle.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Ian Buruma

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Ian Buruma is a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Institute for the Humanities in Washington, D.C.
 
Published November 12, 2002 by Vintage. 400 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Bad Elements

Kirkus Reviews

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Soon torn down, the last wall “became part of a silent history, suppressed by the government but kept alive among Chinese in exile.” Those exiles number in the millions (and tens of millions more, if you count the residents of Taiwan and Hong Kong);

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The New York Times

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Over the last century, China has known dynastic rule, Western imperialism, warlordism, foreign invasion, civil war, Maoism and what has been called ''market-Leninism.'' The Communist Party's monopoly over China's political life may soon end, but what can replace it?

Dec 16 2001 | Read Full Review of Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels ...

The Guardian

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But Ian Buruma's superb book shows how important the central question they pose is for the future of China - and thus for the world in our lifetimes.

Jun 08 2002 | Read Full Review of Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels ...

The Guardian

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Bad Elements : Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing by Ian Buruma Find this on the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Published in 20...

Aug 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels ...

Publishers Weekly

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Whether he's describing the noble melancholy of an exiled Chinese rebel or the unbridled joy of free elections in Taiwan, Buruma's writing is as elegant as Chinese calligraphy and as potent as Chinese wine.

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Asian Review of Books

... of the Far Eastern Economic Review or the South China Morning Post,
Buruma's approach ... as much as through their politics—makes this book an
interesting and valuable addition to ... China Fast Forward: the Technologies,
Green Indus...

Dec 17 2001 | Read Full Review of Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels ...

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