FREEDOM IS A WORD by Eric Gordon


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After two years in China teaching English, Gordon and his wife were arrested by the Chinese in 1967 for trying to smuggle out notes on the Cultural Revolution. He describes their pre-arrest experiences without contributing anything new to our information or anything profound to our understanding of the upheaval: just more Red Guards wild in the streets and a few details of the events in the particular office Gordon worked in. (Ken Ling's Revenge of Heaven, p. 1195, is far superior in this respect.) Most of the book is devoted to the Gordons' two years of house arrest. Every interrogation, confession, and dastardly incident is detailed in the careful tradition of antiCommunist exposes; the cast is replete with slope-eyed fanatics and red book-waving secret police. Needless to say, Gordon proclaims himself disillusioned with Maoism. Compared with Neale Hunter's Shanghai Journal (1969), a foreign teacher's report which is equally forthright in its sympathies with the Cultural Revolution but far broader and fuller in its details of the author's eyewitness slice, this account makes a dull contribution to the I-was-held-by-the-Reds genre.

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1971
Publisher: Morrow