Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing
By Ian Buruma
Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9780679781363, 400pp.
Publication Date: December 17, 2002
These are among the questions that Ian Buruma poses in this enlightening and often moving tour of Chinese dissidence. Moving from the quarrelsome exile communities of the U. S. to Singapore and Hong Kong and from persecuted Christians to Internet hacktivists, Buruma captures an entire spectrum of opposition to the orthodoxies of the Communist Party. He explores its historical antecedents its conflicting notions of freedom and the paradoxical mix of courage and cussedness that inspires its members. Panoramic and intimate, disturbing and inspiring, Bad Elements is a profound meditation on the themes of national identity and political struggle.
“Ian Buruma is a powerful storyteller. . . . Bad Elements is the best book yet written on Chinese dissidents.” --The New York Review of Books
“[Buruma is] one of the sharpest minds writing about Asia. . . . A brilliant examination . . . impressively comprehensive.” —The Wall Street Journal
“[Buruma’s] sharply observed and well-drawn portraits of obstinate, courageous and sometimes flawed people inspire admiration and compassion....A vivid history of repression and resistance.” —The New York Times Book Review
“An intellectual travelogue that gradually circles Beijing before ending up there...Buruma has a good eye for the small ironies of exile.” —The Washington Post Book World