TEN MILE INN: Mass Movement in a Chinese Village by Isabel & David Crook Crook

TEN MILE INN: Mass Movement in a Chinese Village

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In 1947, the Crooks arrived in Ten Mile Inn, a small village in North China, to ""observe"" the land-reform process which was about to go into effect. In Revolution in a Chinese Village (Eng., 1959) they have already chronicled the previous ten-year period, during which ""feudal"" agrarian relations were overthrown; now they turn to the events they actually witnessed in 1948. The time-frame and circumstances of this book are therefore virtually identical with those of William Hinton's now-classic Fanshen (1967). Like Fanshen, this work is filled with accounts of endless meetings where people are slotted according to their possessions and the latest classification system handed down by the government of the Liberated Areas, and similarly endless meetings to redress old grievances against ""struggle objects"" (i.e., former exploiters). What is missing here is just what made Fanshen unusual--a continuing identification with the people of the village; the villagers of Hinton's Long Bow were adopted by the reader like characters in a novel, while those of Ten Mile Inn never come out from behind the stencil-like rhetoric of ""the masses"" (both their own and the Crooks'). Specialists may want to compare the nuances of ""fan-shenning"" (literally, ""turning over"") in Ten Mile Inn with the process in Long Bow, but Fanshen will suffice on the subject for most.

Pub Date: May 30th, 1979
Publisher: Pantheon