LOVE AND HATE IN CHINA by Hans Koningsberger


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At one point in this short sojourn in China, Hans Koningsberger states that he has tried to keep himself out of his own book. Perhaps that gives it its rather detached tone, a tone also in keeping with the condition of being an outsider looking in. Mr. Koningsberger was permitted the run of Chinese cities from Peking to Canton, toured a truck factory (and was invited to drive a product) and a commune as well as taking in the street sights. He estimates the value of currency in a predominantly ""moneyless"" society, indicates how people at different levels live. He compares the Chinese myth to ""Valley Forge, Gettysburg, the Wild West and both World Wars rolled into one"" and has an impression that the Chinese are at present less misgoverned than they have been for centuries. Although the people's militia is unprepossessingly present in the population from sixteen to twenty-five, the Chinese army is invisible to the foreigner (factory posters on Vietnam are not). The New Morale is a fact by force or forceful persuasion, according to one's viewpoint. The author attempted neutrality, found it hard at times to maintain in the face of a ""Kafkaesque officialdom"" he does not document, and paradoxically experienced moments of understanding and admiration. His book offers a novelist's rather than a journalist's insights; it is human and explorative, although one senses that his subject at times stayed out of reach.

Publisher: McGraw-Hill