‘Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister,’ by Jung Chang

Review by Reg Naulty

Close-up of the book cover. | Photo: Jonathan Cape.

Insofar as this book gives a history of China – which it does as background – it reads like a tragedy. At the end of the nineteenth century Cixi, the empress dowager, took steps to modernise the country. Jung Chang describes China’s search for democracy during 1913-28.
It had a parliamentary government, a reasonably fair legal system, and a free press. After that came the dictatorship of Chiang Kai-shek and the totalitarian regime of Mao Zedong.

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