MANDARIN RED by James Cameron


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This is an important book on the Chinese scene for an unusual reason: it reminds us that China is a land of natural and artistic splendor as well as a land who visited China for the London News turned Communist. For while James Cameron, Chronicle in 1954, is at all times eager to investigate the workings of Communism, he is not kept from enjoying the Peking duck dinner that is part of his fare on his China tour. The permeative quality of the regime is apparent everywhere, as he discusses Shakespeare in terms of Marxist themes or talks to a farmer in Northern China or a model industrial worker or a liberated woman block leader, visits courts and newspaper offices and prisons. But between observances about land reform and the marriage law, there are brushes with the Dalai Lama and a living Buddha, a Journey down the Yangtse reading Jane Austen. Aware of the achievements of the regime, the synthesis of the older culture with the new doctrine, he sees too its grimmer intrusions...but reflections in a still-seeming pond riffled by undercurrents tend to defy crystallization. A beautifully executed Journalist's travelogue. A contrasting accompaniment to Richard Walker's China under Communism.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1955
Publisher: Rinehart