This lucid, thoughtful, and often riveting account by Jeremy Brown, a leading social historian of the People's Republic of China (PRC), revisits almost every dimension of the dramatic upheaval of 1989 and forces us to examine afresh what we thought we already knew. The book has no fewer than four objectives. First, Brown critically reassesses official claims that the army crackdown was a necessary response to political disorders that would otherwise have thrown the country into chaos. Second, he seeks to rectify an overemphasis on the Beijing student movement and its interaction with the national leadership, in particular an interpretation that emphasizes the disorganization and strategic blunders of the student movement that allegedly made a bloody outcome more likely. Third, Brown weaves together the best of the published accounts with newly available or long-neglected sources that shed new light on what happened and why. Fourth, he carefully explores the aftermath...

You do not currently have access to this content.