Never Turn Back By Julian Gewirtz
- Narrated by: Rick Adamson
- Length: 13 hrs and 47 mins
- Release date: 02-21-23
Never Turn Back By Julian Gewirtz AudioBook Summary
On a hike in January 1984, Deng Xiaoping was warned that his path was a steep and treacherous one. “Never turn back,” the Chinese leader replied. That became a mantra as the government forged ahead with reforms in the face of heated contestation over the nation’s future. But deliberation came to a sudden halt in spring 1989, with protests and purges, massacre and repression. Since then, Beijing has worked intensively to suppress the memory of this era of openness.
Julian Gewirtz recovers the debates of the 1980s, tracing the Communist Party’s diverse attitudes toward markets, state control, and sweeping technological change, as well as freewheeling public argument over political liberalization. After Tiananmen, however, Beijing systematically erased these discussions of alternative directions. Using newly available Chinese sources, Gewirtz details how the leadership purged the key reformist politician Zhao Ziyang, quashed the student movement, recast the transformations of the 1980s as the inevitable products of consensus, and indoctrinated China and the international community in the new official narrative.