A PEKING DIARY by Derk Bodde
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A PEKING DIARY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Don't sidetrack this because it is an unheralded item. It is an immensely valuable and often disturbing study of the Communist Revolution in China, by a research fellow under the Fullbright Program. It could well be another China Shakes the World success. From August 1948- to August 1949, Dr. Bodde, residing in Peking before and after the entrance of the Eighth Route Army, kept a meticulous record in diary form of the cultural, political and economic changes. Eleven years had elapsed since he had been there- and in 1948 he found it a grey shell of poverty, lassitude, fed empty slogans by the clique-ridden government of the Kuomintang. The Communists offered an alternative- entering with the masses on their side, and with American equipment purchased and captured from the Nationalists. On all sides, Dr. Bodde received a pessimistic and unpalatable picture of attitudes towards Americans. Economically, the changes that followed were not truly communistic, but the Marxist view of life is for the Chinese Communist the complete and final truth; there's exhilaration and moral comparable to the early days of the Revolution, among the intellectuals as well as the common people. Compared with evidences of American support of an unpopular, minority government, Russian influence and aid to the Communists is small. Ample reason to explain the unpopularity towards America. The author sees this Revolution as of internal origin, but he is pessimistic as to the future, feeling that Russian influence is gathering momentum and may seize control. An important contribution to opening our eyes to Chinese affairs.

Publisher: Henry Schuman