RED CARPET TO CHINA by Michael Croft


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Not since Cameron's Mandarin Red has there been- for this reader- so informative- and informal- an observer's report on Red China. Though less penetrating than Gerald Clark's Impatient Giant (see report p. 680-1959), less analytical, it does give the reader a very human picture of a country in the ferment of compassing a century of development in a decade of effort. Invited to join an international youth delegation to China, Croft, founder of England's National Youth Theatre, set out on a journey which took him on an escorted tour via Russia to Peking, Manchuria, Shanghai, Canton. It was an oddly assorted group, internationally speaking, but the political complexion was somewhat balanced in favor of Communism, so Croft- and a few others- spoke for a minority approach, as they visited the incredible achievements of the new regime, and- on their own-interviewed people at all levels. He admired the amazing material progress, the industrial development, the hospitals and schools, the care for health and welfare, the preservation of the heritage of the past. But he deplored the limited conceptions of freedom, the ideological mania, the calculated hypocrisy of the attitude over the then current situation in Hungary and the Suez. He feels that the Chinese know where they are going and that nothing will stop them in the march to their goal. But in the main this is a book about what he saw rather than the conclusions he draws from it. Immensely interesting reading, revealing and sometimes frightening, the facts somehow tell their own story- a story we need to know.

Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 1960
Publisher: St. Martin's Press