Listen now | Episode Notes: I interview Tania Branigan about her excellent new book “Red Memory: The Afterlives of China's Cultural Revolution”. Tania writes editorials for the Guardian and spent seven years as its China correspondent, reporting on politics, the economy, and social changes. we overlapped in Beijing and became friends. I have also published an excerpt from the book here. You can purchase the book
This was excellent. I’ve read a few books on the Cultural Revolution (Dikotter, Jisheng Yang, etc) but as an American, I feel like I don’t truly understand the anguish and the horror (and every other descriptive term) of that era. So I found this conversation illuminating - and I’ll read the book and I might see about getting her on NPR if she’s not already booked.
One of several things that stood out to me: how the pervasive “sent down youth” story has been completely divorced - and now has almost a separate, more positive connotation - from the history of the Cultural Revolution.