The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China's Collective Past
"I was swept into the world of Hershatter's "Gender of Memory. " Each of these oral histories is riveting and astonishing, giving a human -- and ... Show synopsis "I was swept into the world of Hershatter's "Gender of Memory. " Each of these oral histories is riveting and astonishing, giving a human -- and often, heartbreaking -- dimension to history. As this book shows, history is not simply recorded facts, but what is remembered by those who were once silent." --Amy Tan "Gail Hershatter's book transforms our understanding of China's Communist revolution. Organizing women and raising their status was a central goal of Communist leaders from the start. But what difference did that commitment make to the course of modern Chinese history? Hershatter's answers - framed in the language of her rural informants -- are stunning. In her moving and often wrenching interviews with rural women, she comes to understand that women's active support, sacrifice, and engagement ultimately gave the Communist leadership its authority at the household level." --Susan Mann, author of "The Talented Women of the Zhang Family" "One of the most important works on China's much-neglected 1950s, and a very significant contribution to the literature on historical memory and methodology. There really is something for everybody here." --Kenneth Pomeranz, author of "The Great Divergence" "This book is in a league of its own: a meticulous, thoughtful and sensitive interrogation of sources about an understudied aspect of China's revolutionary history, a critical exploration of how gender mediates personal recollections of the past, and a beautifully written narrative about women's experiences of China's land reform and collectivisation in the 1950s." --Harriet Evans, author of "The Subject of Gender: Daughters and Mothers in Urban China" "Hershatter's ethnographically rich and original analysis of time and gendered periodization is revelatory and her powerful account of the early basis for genuine utopianism is utterly convincing." --James C. Scott, author of "The Art of Not Being Governed" "This book is an event." --Andrew Barshay, author of "The Social Sciences in Modern Japan: The Marxian and Modernist Traditions"