‘The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited’

The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited looks at the effects of the Tiananmen Square massacre on China over the past 25 years. (Paul Louis/Wikimedia Commons)
The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited looks at the effects of the Tiananmen Square massacre on China over the past 25 years. (Paul Louis/Wikimedia Commons)

Published to mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, this book by NPR correspondent Louisa Lim explores how China was changed by the events of June 4, 1989, when the People’s Liberation Army opened fire on unarmed civilians in Beijing.

Here are some reviews via Amazon to tell you more about this fascinating analysis of the event’s impact on China over the last quarter-century.

“Louisa Lim peers deep into the conflicted soul of today’s China. Twenty-five years after the bloody suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing, the government continues to deploy its technologies of forgetting–censorship of the media, falsification of history, and the amnesiac drug of shallow nationalism–to silence those who dare to remember and deter those who want to inquire. But the truth itself does not change; it only finds new ways to come out. Lim gives eloquent voice to the silenced witnesses, and uncovers the hidden nightmares that trouble China’s surface calm.” –Andrew J. Nathan, co-editor, The Tiananmen Papers

“For a country that has long so valued its history and so often turned to it as a guide for the future, the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to erase actual history and replace it with distorted narratives warped by nationalism, has created a dangerous vacuum at the center of modern-day China. With her carefully researched and beautifully reported The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited, Louisa Lim helps not only restore several important missing pieces of Chinese posterity that were part of the demonstrations in 1989, but also reminds us that a country which loses the ability to remember its own past honestly risks becoming rootless and misguided.”–Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society

“In The People’s Republic of Amnesia veteran China correspondent Louisa Lim skillfully weaves the voices that ‘clamor against the crime of silence’ to recover for our collective memory the most pivotal moment in modern China’s history.” –Paul French, author of Midnight in Peking

“A deeply moving book-thoughtful, careful, and courageous. The portraits and stories it contains capture the multilayered reality of China, as well as reveal the sobering moral compromises the country has made to become an emerging world power, even one hailed as presenting a compelling alternative to Western democracies. Yet grim as these stories and portraits sometimes are, they also provide glimpse of hope, through the tenacity, clarity of conscience, and unflinching zeal of the dissidents, whether in China or in exile, who against all odds yearn for a better tomorrow.” –Shen Tong, former student activist and author of Almost a Revolution

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