In My Hands Today…

Life and Death in Shanghai – Nien Cheng

In August 1966 a group of Red Guards ransacked the home of Nien Cheng.

Her background made her an obvious target for the fanatics of the Cultural Revolution: educated in London, the widow of an official of Chiang Kai-Shek’s regime, and an employee of Shell Oil, Nien Cheng enjoyed comforts that few of her compatriots could afford. When she refused to confess that any of this made her an enemy of the state, she was placed in solitary confinement, where she would remain for more than six years.

“Life and Death in Shanghai” is the powerful story of Nien Cheng’s imprisonment, of the deprivation she endured, of her heroic resistance, and of her quest for justice when she was released. It is the story, too, of a country torn apart by the savage fight for power Mao Tse-tung launched in his campaign to topple party moderates. An incisive, rare personal account of a terrifying chapter in twentieth-century history, “Life and Death in Shanghai” is also an astounding portrait of one woman’s courage.

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