About The Book

In the early hours of June 4, 1989, People’s Liberation Army soldiers opened fire on unarmed civilians in Beijing, killing untold hundreds of people. A quarter- century later, this defining event remains buried in China’s modern history, successfully expunged from collective memory. Those who continue to remember are consigned to a life on the periphery, since moving on— not dwelling on the past—has become a key coping mechanism.

 

In this remarkable work of investigative history, Louisa Lim shines a light on the events of June 4th, 1989, showing how irrevocably they changed China. Lim reveals new details about those fateful days, introducing readers to a series of individuals whose lives were transformed by Tiananmen, from a young soldier sent to clear the Square to one of the country’s most senior politicians who became one of its highest-profile dissidents after spending seven years in jail post- Tiananmen. She traces the effects of June 4th up to the present day, exploring how it shaped China’s national identity, fostering a generation of young nationalists, who know little and care less about 1989.

 

Lim also uncovers, for the first time, the story of a brutal crackdown in a second Chinese city that until now has been a near-perfect case study in the state’s ability to rewrite history, excising the most painful episodes. Revealing previously unknown details, she brings to light a wrenching event that for too long has gone unremembered. By tracking down eyewitnesses, deciphering diplomatic cables, and combing through official records, Lim offers a brilliant andclear-eyed account of a story that has remained untold for a quarter of a century.

 

The People’s Republic of Amnesia is an original, powerfully gripping, and ultimately unforgettable book about a national tragedy and an unhealed wound.

About The Author

 

Louisa Lim is an award-winning journalist who has reported from China for a decade, most recently for National Public Radio. Previously she was the BBC’s Beijing Correspondent. She lives with her two children in Melbourne, Australia.

 

Learn More about Louisa

Photo Courtesy of Leila Navidi

© 2019 Louisa Lim. All Rights Reserved

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