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!Download Book ♶ The Man on Mao's Right: From Harvard Yard to Tiananmen Square, My Life Inside China's Foreign Ministry ♽ No other narrative from within the corridors of power has offered as frank and intimate an account of the making of the modern Chinese nation as Ji Chaozhu s The Man on Mao s Right Having served Chairman Mao Zedong and the Communist leadership for two decades, and having become a key figure in China s foreign policy, Ji now provides an honest, detailed account of the personalities and events that shaped today s People s RepublicThe youngest son of a prosperous government official, nine year old Ji and his family fled Japanese invaders in the late s, escaping to America Warmly received by his new country, Ji returned its embrace as he came of age in New York s East Village and then attended Harvard University But in , after years of enjoying a life of relative ease while his countrymen suffered through war and civil strife, Ji felt driven by patriotism to volunteer to serve China in its conflict with his adoptive country in the Korean WarJi s mastery of the English language and American culture launched his improbable career, eventually winning him the role of English interpreter for China s two top leaders Premier Zhou Enlai and Party Chairman Mao Zedong With a unique blend of Chinese insight and American candor, Ji paints insightful portraits of the architects of modern China the urbane, practical, and avuncular Zhou, the conscience of the People s Republic and the messianic, charismatic Mao, student of China s ancient past his country s stern father figureIn Ji s memoir, he is an eyewitness to modern Chinese history, including the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, the Nixon summit, and numerous momentous events in Tiananmen Square As he becomes caught up in political squabbles among radical factions, Ji s past and charges against him of incorrect thinking subject him to scrutiny and suspicion He is repeatedly sent to a collective farm to be reeducated by the peasantsAfter the Mao years, Ji moves on to hold top diplomatic posts in the United States and the United Kingdom and then serves as under secretary general of the United Nations Today, he says, The Chinese know America better than the Americans know China The risk is that we misperceive each other This highly accessible insider s chronicle of a struggling people within a developing powerhouse nation is also Ji Chaozhu s dramatic personal story, certain to fascinate and enlighten Western readersA riveting biography and unique historical record, The Man on Mao s Right recounts the heartfelt struggle of a man who loved two powerful nations that were at odds with each other Ji Chaozhu played an important role in paving the way for what is destined to be known as the Chinese CenturyPraise for The Man on Mao s RightBrave, beautifully written testimony A true fly on the wall account of the momentous changes in Chinese society and international relations over the last centuryKirkus Reviews It is a relief to read an account by an urbane and often witty insider who neither idolizes nor demonizes China s top leaders Highly recommended Library Journal, starred review From the Hardcover edition The Man on Mao s Right is the memoir of Ji Chaozhu, a Chinese diplomat who worked as an interpreter for several decades before being promoted tosubstantive positions, ending his career as China s ambassador to Great Britain and a stint as undersecretary general of the UN His personal story in intertwined with many important events in modern Chinese history, from the Japanese invasion and a peripheral role in the communist s rise to power his older brother was a confidant of Zhu Enlai a The Man on Mao s Right is the memoir of Ji Chaozhu, a Chinese diplomat who worked as an interpreter for several decades before being promoted tosubstantive positions, ending his career as China s ambassador to Great Britain and a stint as undersecretary general of the UN His personal story in intertwined with many important events in modern Chinese history, from the Japanese invasion and a peripheral role in the communist s rise to power his older brother was a confidant of Zhu Enlai andor less a Chinese communist agent in the United States , to the Korean war, the early decades of Chinese communism, the Great Leap Forward, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the fall of the Gang of Four and the rise of post Maoist China under Deng Xiaoping.Ji went to school in Manhattan and was a scholarship student at Harvard before most of the family moved back to China to help Chairman Mao build the new China He is a Chinese patriot and a thoroughgoing Confucian Mandarin at heart, who managed to retain these ideals through decades of purges and ideological twists and turns in China, which also means he is not inclined to kick up controversy and cross the party s red lines, even in his old age The memoir seems honest and frank enough when it comes to his personal life, but the politics and political commentary are filtered through a lifetime of extreme care and awareness of what words can mean and what limits are to be kept in mind He may have exactly these beliefs and attitudes, or he may think these are the beliefs and attitudes he considers safe to share Opinions that the CCP now considers safe are freely shared, those that could upset the CCP apparently never entered Ji s head That s just how it is in this book.But that is not to say the book has no revelations The everyday details ARE the revelation here The bombed out moonscape of North Korea where the Chinese and North Koreans lived in tunnels as they battled it out with the most powerful army on earth the truce village at Panmunjom and its peculiar diplomatic standoffs the living conditions in the Chinese foreign ministry in the 1950s his first house with his wife is a lean to one room shelter with a tin roof and cardboard walls the living conditions of the peasants he is sent to for re education they store urns of urine, and keep them inside the room to prevent it being stolen by other farmers it is valuable as fertilizer the purges of the cultural revolution and the way people become non people when they were out of favor friends will not meet them, nobody will mention their name, as if they never existed his struggles with Nancy Tang the other famous interpreter of the day, closer to the gang of four, so able to push him around during the cultural revolution , how hungry Chinese diplomats were during the famine days of the Great Leap Forward, what it meant to eat good food abroad, and how they would save their meager travel allowance to buy dried milk for starving relatives back home , and so on and so forth It is a fascinating life, and well worth reading about.The section about the cultural revolution in particular is a must read Even though Ji is very intensely nationalistic, pro CCP and generally an extremely careful mandarin who has surely written this book with as much care about being on the right side of history as he was in his long service, he still paints a truly horrendous picture which is evenhorrifying because of his calm detachment He describes the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution as China s Lord of the Flies moment, when the Red Guards were unleashed and society went mad He estimates that in Beijing in July and August 1966 , about one person was beaten to death per block in a city which has thousands of city blocks How many countless thousands were beaten to death, blown up with dynamite, forced to eat shit or whatever other torture the young students could come up with, all across China, is incalculable Children reported their parents, siblings stopped talking to suspect siblings Sons and fathers disappeared and were not mentioned in case someone would slander you by association People divorced their wives and mothers hanged themselves and all this while the cadres being set upon were almost all fervent supporters of the CCP and the revolution.It is noteworthy that Ji Chaozhu is muchshocked by the cultural revolution than he was by the Great Leap Forward He himself estimates that some 30 million probably died in that man made famine but he mentions it as a statistic, with no great feeling attached to it The way he, his family and others of his background and class educated mandarins were treated in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution strikes him as a much worse crime than the way 30 million peasants were starved to death This sort of makes sense, but is worth noting.Ji like many Chinese, even within the CCP was supposedly a convinced communist, but the book makes almost no mention of any Marxist theory or analytical framework Nor is there any explanation for why he, avowedly Marxist in 1950, saw nothing worth noting in China s historic transition to capitalism The impression he conveys is that while he diligently read the Marxist literature that was ubiquitous in his time, he was always farChinese nationalist than Communist This may be his lifelong Mandarin caution speaking, or he may really be uninterested in Marxist economics or even in Marxism per se.Anyway, a fascinating book Well worth reading.PS A few years after the publication of his book, his wife told an interviewer Let s just say we re survivors..That s what he s trying to say The book holds your attention for its smooth and polished read Ghost writer Foster Winans is credited in the Preface The language is very measured, void of the kind of emotions expected from someone who gave up a good life in the west to face tremendous deprivation, stress and betrayal in post revolutionary China.The author, who had a US childhood and Harvard education, experienced firsthand, the Japanese bombardment, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, re education in the country The book holds your attention for its smooth and polished read Ghost writer Foster Winans is credited in the Preface The language is very measured, void of the kind of emotions expected from someone who gave up a good life in the west to face tremendous deprivation, stress and betrayal in post revolutionary China.The author, who had a US childhood and Harvard education, experienced firsthand, the Japanese bombardment, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, re education in the countryside, Nixon s visit to China and a host of other events of the century One wonders how anyone survived any one of these, since each pushes the limits of human health and stress tolerance.To cover the full life, each event had to be shorn of details Because of this, this book can t really be taken alone.Other books flesh out the times.The Private Life of Chairman Mao is the most complete that I have read It gives an inside look at how the Great Leap Forward was initiated and later how the Gang of Four controlled most internal and external operations creating a life threatening environment based on pettiness This background helps to consider how the gift of the glass snail from Corning Glass and small acts such as talking to high school aquantances subjected Ji toworry than he lets on.Zhou Enlai The Last Perfect Revolutionary gives the details of Ji s mentor This book provides a lot about the office politics that Ji only mentions It gives adetailed treatment of Zhou s medical non treatment and how the young ladies monopolized the chairman.Nixon and Mao The Week That Changed the World gives perspective on the Nixon visit China Hands Nine Decades of Adventure, Espionage, and Diplomacy in Asia gives an American perspective on some of these big events Mr Ji has an obvious command of the English language He also apparently has a good command of rhetoric because rhetorical arguments are what make up the bulk of this book.Ji is a flag waving pro Communist despite enduring political embarrassments during the Cultural Revolution His devotion stays away from fanatical but it is zealous nonetheless Ji doesn t miss a chance to make disparaging comments about Taiwan for instance Talk about the Tiananmen massacre focuses mostly on the scandalous Mr Ji has an obvious command of the English language He also apparently has a good command of rhetoric because rhetorical arguments are what make up the bulk of this book.Ji is a flag waving pro Communist despite enduring political embarrassments during the Cultural Revolution His devotion stays away from fanatical but it is zealous nonetheless Ji doesn t miss a chance to make disparaging comments about Taiwan for instance Talk about the Tiananmen massacre focuses mostly on the scandalous and disgraceful comments of a single student protest leader.Ultimately this book doesn t give much insight into the mindset of modern China that a National Geographic mini series couldn t give you And as a side note, Ji didn t even like Mao that much, but he was a huge fan boy for Zhou Enlai That makes the choice of title somewhat confusing If you are looking for the soul searching, self criticism made famous, or infamous, by Moaist communism, Ji Chaozhu s The Man on Mao s Right is not that book This is the autobiography of a man who was an intimate witness to the political and diplomatic thoughts of China s Chairman Mao.Ji Chaozhu was Chinese born and American educated He would return to serve the then new communist People Republic of China This would mean surviving its arcane and often self defeating party politics His abili If you are looking for the soul searching, self criticism made famous, or infamous, by Moaist communism, Ji Chaozhu s The Man on Mao s Right is not that book This is the autobiography of a man who was an intimate witness to the political and diplomatic thoughts of China s Chairman Mao.Ji Chaozhu was Chinese born and American educated He would return to serve the then new communist People Republic of China This would mean surviving its arcane and often self defeating party politics His ability to thread the political dangers and skill with American English and psychology would earn him a steady role as Chairman Mao s interpreter and ultimately positions of Ambassador to the United Kingdom and Under Secretary General of the United Nations.It is said that everyone is a hero in his own story For all his modesty, Chaozhu sees himself as a good man doing good work He is not an apologist for China He will not speak to, excuse, or admit to any of the excesses American of the Cold War care to recite.Unlike any of the many Russian or Iron Curtain Country based autobiographies published since the fall of the Soviet Empire, The people of the PRC have no reason to engage in self analysis based on having lost The PRC still proudly flies the Red Flag This is cause for westerners to be concerned about events from the North China Sea to the China Indian border, but these event do not color the contents of Chaozhu s book.I recommend The Man on Mao s Right for its value as a story from the viewpoint of the man who lived it I recommend it as a chance to read the history of the Cold War from the viewpoint of someone on the other side I recommend it as a simply told story by a man who cannot be as uncomplicated as his story telling.On reflection it is the apparent simplicity of Chaozhu that should draw your attention One aspect of Russian Communist autobiography was the need to say things by what is not said, or by what is implied Chinese Communist Chaozhuthan hints that every Communist Chinese party functionary functioned under the threat of being denounced by the anonymous, arbitrary or jealous It is in what is not written or covered by party based formula that we may be able to glimpse the mind of Ji Chaozhu.Ji Chaozhu lived a life From Harvard yard to Tienanmen Square and Inside China s Foreign Ministry This alone makes this an interesting read Waiting for a similar history that will recount an American version of this kind of life may be a wait in vain Excellent, casual and inside history of the 20th century People s Republic told by a man who was born in 1930, fled the Japanese to America with his family, attended Harvard and ultimately became the primary interpreter for Zhou Enlai, a secondary interpreter for Mao, and a major figure in Sino American diplomacy of the 1980s Fascinating, and easily readable. This is probably one of the most interesting memoirs I ve read Little Ji, the man on Mao s right in a famous photo at Tiananmen square, grew up in a wealthy and respected family in China During a dangerous time of the Japanese invasion, little Ji and his family flees to the US where he attends Horace Mann School and later Harvard University as a freshman Just as China and the US were beginning to forge a friendly relationship and Ji was beginning to see a successful future as a chemist ahead This is probably one of the most interesting memoirs I ve read Little Ji, the man on Mao s right in a famous photo at Tiananmen square, grew up in a wealthy and respected family in China During a dangerous time of the Japanese invasion, little Ji and his family flees to the US where he attends Horace Mann School and later Harvard University as a freshman Just as China and the US were beginning to forge a friendly relationship and Ji was beginning to see a successful future as a chemist ahead of him, he decides to return to China to fight in the Korean War He doesn t end up doing that though Ji s early life, his life in America, and finally his service in the foreign ministry have all been equally interesting This memoir has given me fresh and important perspective on the history of China from the 1930s to what it is now The insider information about thepractical Zhou Enlai and his quiet opposition against the visionary Mao while simultaneously putting up a face of loyalty was something I hadn t thought about before Something I couldn t accept for a long time was the fact that Ji was so loyal to the communist party, that he was actually keen on learning how to be humble and denouncing capitalism, the bourgeois, and individualism The author does not really talk about Ji s internal struggles with independently judging these ideas which undoubtedly make up the other half of his identity As a student who has always had an American education while living in China myself, I can t imagine how it feels like to be confronted with such a deeply personal yet deeply political cultural clash yet vow to patriotically take one side How can he be so confident about the communist party even after the lives that Mao or his power hungry wife has destroyed through the failures of the Great Leap Forward and the cultural revolution How about the horrendous brutal public violence This was a fascinating account of China s history as seen through the eyes of a translator who experienced first hand the Japanese invasion, Korean War, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution and lived to tell the tale His family escaped to the States prior to WWII and he left Harvard to join in as his country was rebuilding following the Communist win over the Guomindang He was able to use his English skills and education to interpret for many Chinese leaders, most notably Zhou Enlai and of This was a fascinating account of China s history as seen through the eyes of a translator who experienced first hand the Japanese invasion, Korean War, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution and lived to tell the tale His family escaped to the States prior to WWII and he left Harvard to join in as his country was rebuilding following the Communist win over the Guomindang He was able to use his English skills and education to interpret for many Chinese leaders, most notably Zhou Enlai and of course, Chairman Mao He was the translator when Kissinger first visited China and Nixon s visit the following year, and in later years was 3rd in command at the Chinese Embassy in the US and eventually China s Ambassador in the UK.The writing is casual and easy to follow He doesn t get into the details, which sometimes feels like a missed opportunity given the things he experienced You have to wonder if he was holding back some of his thoughts about what he experienced during the Cultural Revolution, when he was sent out for re education multiple times, as he had enemies within the Foreign Ministry He lives in China and is a firm supporter of the Communist government, although he is transparent in his criticisms of Mao and his cultist followers It is a bit difficult to pinpoint why I am giving this one five stars I suppose at some level it must have to do with a next to the throne person spending his youth in America and only then becoming a part of the mix in the world s most populous country as a government functionary whose English skills, learned in New York and at Harvard, were in the middle of 20th century world politics.And Little Ji his nickname is not above having been disciplined harshly in the Mao years of cultural re It is a bit difficult to pinpoint why I am giving this one five stars I suppose at some level it must have to do with a next to the throne person spending his youth in America and only then becoming a part of the mix in the world s most populous country as a government functionary whose English skills, learned in New York and at Harvard, were in the middle of 20th century world politics.And Little Ji his nickname is not above having been disciplined harshly in the Mao years of cultural revolution and spending time in re education camps planting rice He recalls his earlier years working on a Vermont farm, and somehow they become marginally equable For all that I am still, after finishing his book, not clear that his politics would have been much different without the exposure to the inner workings of the Chinese Communist Party he comes across as a remarkable individual.He seems never to have entirely lost his sense of humor even as his Foreign Ministry bosses never quite trusted his wife due to Taiwanese associations He does share a few instances of wild disappointment at things that transpired in Chinese politics when people that he admired were removed And while he does not go into gory detail he does acknowledge that injustice ran rampant at times This story is passing into history, but I think it has lessons already for understanding the peculiar relationship between the United States and China Ji Chaozhu provides a fascinating perspective on major historical events in China in the 20th century While telling his own biographical narrative, Ji always provides his perspective on the history as it was playing out in his life As a translator for negotiators during the Korean War, for China s Foreign Premier and occasionally for Mao, Ji saw firsthand many major events of world history He is humble in describing his distinguished career He is both proud of and critical of the Chinese Com Ji Chaozhu provides a fascinating perspective on major historical events in China in the 20th century While telling his own biographical narrative, Ji always provides his perspective on the history as it was playing out in his life As a translator for negotiators during the Korean War, for China s Foreign Premier and occasionally for Mao, Ji saw firsthand many major events of world history He is humble in describing his distinguished career He is both proud of and critical of the Chinese Communist Party and spends considerable time considering the many accomplishments and shortcomings I listened to the audiobook, and it was a compelling narrative, full of rich history, smart observations, and a great guide to a few decades of Chinese history which are so interesting to study and learn from