Foreigners under Mao (Hardcover)

Western Lives in China, 1949–1976

By Beverley Hooper

Hong Kong University Press, 9789888208746, 304pp.

Publication Date: July 13, 2016

List Price: 60.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Foreigners under Mao Western Lives in China, 1949–1976 is a pioneering study of the Western community during the turbulent Mao era. Based largely on personal interviews, memoirs, private letters, and archives, this book ‘gives a voice’ to the Westerners who lived under Mao. It shows that China was not as closed to Western residents as has often been portrayed. The book examines the lives of six different groups of Westerners ‘foreign comrades’ who made their home in Mao’s China, twenty-two former Korean War POWs who controversially chose China ahead of repatriation, diplomats of Western countries that recognized the People’s Republic, the few foreign correspondents permitted to work in China, ‘foreign experts’, and language students. Each of these groups led distinct lives under Mao, while sharing the experience of a highly politicized society and of official measures to isolate them from everyday China.

About the Author

Beverley Hooper is emeritus professor of Chinese studies at the University of Sheffield in the UK. She is the author of Inside Peking A Personal Report, Youth in China and China Stands Up Ending the Western Presence 1948–1950.

Praise For Foreigners under Mao: Western Lives in China, 1949–1976

‘This book is enjoyable and engaging. The author introduces a small but dynamic collection of enthusiastic international participants in post-1949 China showing unquestioned loyalty to Mao’s ideals. Equally intriguing are the alternate stories of diplomat

‘A well-written survey about the variety of Westerners who lived and worked in the People’s Republic of China between 1949 and 1976. This is a welcome addition to the “sojourner” literature about foreigners who lived in twentieth-century socialist countri