The Wilting of the Hundred Flowers: The Chinese Intelligentsia under Mao

The Wilting of the Hundred Flowers: The Chinese Intelligentsia under Mao

The Wilting of the Hundred Flowers: The Chinese Intelligentsia under Mao

The Wilting of the Hundred Flowers: The Chinese Intelligentsia under Mao

Excerpt

This book is a record of the reflections which a recent sojourn of nearly a year in China has occasioned. It is a personal document and the author cannot claim generality for his views. However, as he is one Chinese intellectual among many others, it is inevitable that he shares with those similarly brought up certain ideas and sentiments, and to the extent of these ideas and sentiments this book tells what it felt like to the Chinese intellectuals to be in China in the late 1950s and what they thought of their Government.

These reflections, which concern directly few people outside China, would not justify publication if the true conditions in China had not been so imperfectly known outside it and if the country were not emerging as a significant factor in world affairs. Those who have surveyed the history of Sino-occidental relations will agree that these relations have been unfortunate -- definitely unfortunate for China in the past and possibly unfortunate for the whole world in the future -- and that the unhappy part of these relations could have been mitigated by understanding and tact. The Chinese Government and the people behind it who now play an important role in world affairs are products of recent international affairs. The problems which the Chinese intellectuals now face are inextricably bound up with the problems China has faced in the recent past, so much so that the former may well be said to be a miniature drama of the latter. By examining the intellectual deposits of China's past, therefore, some ill effects of ignorance and misunderstanding in international affairs may perhaps be avoided in the future.

To the several thousand Chinese intellectuals still in the western countries who must be, like the author before his return . . .

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