Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes: The Tangshan Earthquake and the Death of Mao's China

Heaven Cracks Earth Shakes The Tangshan Earthquake and the Death of Mao s China When an earthquake of historic magnitude leveled the industrial city of Tangshan in the summer of killing than a half million people China was already gripped by widespread social unrest As Mao

  • Title: Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes: The Tangshan Earthquake and the Death of Mao's China
  • Author: James Palmer
  • ISBN: 9780465014781
  • Page: 299
  • Format: Hardcover
  • When an earthquake of historic magnitude leveled the industrial city of Tangshan in the summer of 1976, killing than a half million people, China was already gripped by widespread social unrest As Mao lay on his deathbed, the public mourned the death of popular premier Zhou Enlai Anger toward the powerful Communist Party officials in the Gang of Four, which had trieWhen an earthquake of historic magnitude leveled the industrial city of Tangshan in the summer of 1976, killing than a half million people, China was already gripped by widespread social unrest As Mao lay on his deathbed, the public mourned the death of popular premier Zhou Enlai Anger toward the powerful Communist Party officials in the Gang of Four, which had tried to suppress grieving for Zhou, was already potent when the government failed to respond swiftly to the Tangshan disaster, popular resistance to the Cultural Revolution reached a boiling point In Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes, acclaimed historian James Palmer tells the startling story of the most tumultuous year in modern Chinese history, when Mao perished, a city crumbled, and a new China was born.

    • [PDF] Download ☆ Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes: The Tangshan Earthquake and the Death of Mao's China | by å James Palmer
      299 James Palmer
    • thumbnail Title: [PDF] Download ☆ Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes: The Tangshan Earthquake and the Death of Mao's China | by å James Palmer
      Posted by:James Palmer
      Published :2018-07-17T01:18:50+00:00

    1 thought on “Heaven Cracks, Earth Shakes: The Tangshan Earthquake and the Death of Mao's China”

    1. BLURB: When an earthquake of historic magnitude leveled the industrial city of Tangshan in the summer of 1976, killing more than a half-million people, China was already gripped by widespread social unrest. As Mao lay on his deathbed, the public mourned the death of popular premier Zhou Enlai. Anger toward the powerful Communist Party officials in the Gang of Four, which had tried to suppress grieving for Zhou, was already potent; when the government failed to respond swiftly to the Tangshan dis [...]

    2. Whew! You certainly cannot rate this book on an enjoyment scale. Both dichotomies of horrific events interacting? One was despicable and the other catastrophe. What made me pick this up the second I eyed it on the "New" shelf was that it was Cultural Revolution specific in timing. There are certain movement techniques and agitations to anger that I find parallel to groups' use today in the USA. Because of this in the last 4 or 5 years I've read memoir or history of eyewitness Cultural Revolution [...]

    3. This is a book about two topics - the first is the slow death of Mao Zedong and the power struggle which occurred immediately after, and the second is that of one of the most catastrophic disasters in human history - the Tangshan Earthquake of 1976, which struck 7.8 on the Richter Scale and led to about 250,000 deaths. Palmer does not revise the basic narrative of the death of Mao and the decline of the Gang of Four, but instead he frames it within the scale of this disaster, which serves as a c [...]

    4. It's next to impossible to imagine what it was like on the ground at Hiroshima when the atomic bomb fell on August 6, 1945. But what if the blast had been ten times more devastating than it was? Utterly inconceivable. There is no way to visualize it. And yet the Tangshan earthquake that tore the coal-mining city into rubble on July 28, 1976 was equal in magnitude to 400 Hiroshimas. In the 23 seconds that it lasted it killed about a quarter of a million Chinese and left only about three percent o [...]

    5. This is a great book. "Heaven" is the rarefied air of the Party complex at Zhonganhai, where the Great Helmsman lies drooling, semi-conscious and not long for the world. "Earth" is the grim daily grind of the long-suffering everyday Chinese, the vicious currents of the Cultural Revolution in retreat but still pulling people under. James Palmer captures the sweep and the fine details of both as he weaves two pivotal decades of Chinese history in microcosm around the catastrophic Tangshan earthqua [...]

    6. 5 because it was an easy read. Narrative-wise, it could be rather bias, but otherwise great start for people who have zero knowledge about the Cultural Revolution.

    7. “Honest history is hard to do in China, given the determination of Beijing to put forward a historical narrative that presents an essentially benevolent Communist Party guiding China from weakness to strength and occasionally going astray through no fault of its own”.– James Palmer, “The Death of Mao”As a self-proclaimed “China observer”, I’ve had my share of reading elaborate accounts of this fascinating country’s turbulent past. Some have been biographical accounts, written w [...]

    8. So much depends upon an earthquake that razed an entire region, right beside its dying king. James Palmer is at his best with journalistic prose describing exactly what happened in Tangshan, China on Wednesday, July 28, 1976 at 3:42:53: Li Hongyi was a nurse working on the late shift at the No. 255 hospital, the biggest in Tangshan. At 3:30, she decided to get some fresh air, and went outside to sit at a stone table underneath a large oak. Everything was unnaturally still, and she felt nervous i [...]

    9. This book is a nice effort to explain the political and social mood in China in 1975/76 as the Chinese experience the loss of Zhou Enlai, a terrible earthquake in Tangshan, and the death of Mao. It was probably not the best read for me, as I was looking for more detail regarding the earthquake and less of the political details. I have read several other more exhaustive tomes on the subject of the political climate of the time and so was less interested in that aspect. This book was about 30% ear [...]

    10. About two-thirds of this book concerned the decades before and after the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, most specifically the political maneuverings of various leaders, especially during and just after the Cultural Revolution. In the center of the narrative is the protracted death of Chairman Mao, with a focus on the motives and political fates those who jockeyed for position around his deathbed, such as the Gang of Four, Hua Guofeng, and Deng Xiaoping (though admittedly the latter, in disgrace at th [...]

    11. I may have felt slightly differently if I had read this book instead of listened to it, but . . . the tone is definitely journalistic. That is okay when I don't feel like the tone is so strong and in this case filled with sensational negatives lacking balance. I wanted a better sense regarding where Palmer's sources came from. The reader is introduced to Mao and his policies and his political intrigues, the Gang of Four, the earthquake, and what came politically after it (well sort of) Also, for [...]

    12. I would recommend this to absolutely anyone who is even slightly interested in China, or in the world in general. The 1976 Tangshan earthquake was one of the most devastating earthquakes in human history. It was a 7.8 quake the epicenter of which was directly under the industrial city of Tangshan, home to more than a million people. The quake hit at 3:42AM and most people were indoors, sleeping in shoddily constructed concrete buildings, most of which where flattened in the first quake and finis [...]

    13. I learned so much in this book. I'm almost utterly illiterate when it comes to modern Chinese history, so every single minute of this book was new knowledge for me to soak up.Several of the stories about the survivors and those that did not make it through broke my heart. I think what affected me the most though was learning about the abuse, murder, and utter torture that the teachers across China went through because of idiots and horrible children.This is not light reading. There is almost no [...]

    14. For a book who's premise seems to promise more in-depth analysis about the Tangshan earthquake, it covers relatively little ground. It dedicates a chapter to discussing the actual events of the quake and its aftermath, plus some in the conclusion to how Tangshan remembers the even today. But 70% of the book goes towards explaining the political situation in China in 1976 and the unsteady shift in power at the time of Mao's death. I never got the strong connection between the events of the earthq [...]

    15. This book tries to do two things, and does them both well, but it is hard to see why they were connected in the same book. Palmer does a great job of briefly explaining the leadership struggles that occurred during and after the Death of Mao. You could no doubt write thousands of pages on the intricacies of these months in 1976, but Palmer provides a great intro in a couple hundred. Fascinating stuff. Palmer also does a great job describing the run-up to the Tangshan earthquake, and using that d [...]

    16. Palmer begins by discussing the utterly devastating Tangshan Earthquake of 1976 and weaves that with the narrative of the death of Mao Zedong and the factional infighting that followed. With eye-witness statements and well-written research, Palmer is able to argue that 1976 marked a watershed in Chinese politics, although his focus on the eye-witness and personal stories mean that the political infighting that followed Mao's death is not explored fully. Nevertheless, Palmer's account of natural [...]

    17. Well-written narrative of the last year's of Mao's reign. My main issue was that the author came to this work with some very clear biases. While the history is well done, he makes several personal attacks on leaders of the party that, substantiated or not, detract a bit from the book's validity. I'd recommend it for people just entering or relatively new to "China-watching." It's a good introduction to many of the political and historical influences that affect China today, but I'm hoping to fin [...]

    18. This book is very difficult to read. It is disturbing to read about the horrors behind the Cultural Revolution in China and the regime of Mao. Many times I had to put the book away and try to distract myself with some lighter reading. The history of China in the 20th century is a chapter of inhumanity, pain and suffering. The regime that ruled this country is responsible for millions of dead and damaged of its countrymen. Our imagination struggles to comprehend the scale of this tragedy and to f [...]

    19. This was an interesting approach to Cultural Revolution and post-Cultural Revolution politics. The parts I enjoyed most dealt more with the idea of political legitimacy and natural disasters. I would have enjoyed more analysis in that vein. At times I found the author's connection between the earthquake and Beijing/national politics strained. I would have liked him to cite the sources for some of his assertions.

    20. The detail of how the Gang of Four was overestimated by the Pragmatists was interesting, after all the Gang was made up of people who only rode the political tide of the Cultural Revolution and were no rival to those who were both combat and politically savvy.Also surprised by the fact that mines were actually the safest places during the earthquake due to solid construction by previous foreign colonists. It's sad but true.

    21. Chronicled the events of 1976 in China with a focus on the devastating Tangshan Earthquake, the political jockeying of Hua Guofeng with the Gang of Four in light of Mao's impending death, and Deng Xiaoping's third and final ascent to power within the Party. Took a pretty deep dive into the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution as well, and I have to say at times it was hard to remember I was reading non-fiction rather than a dystopian novel

    22. Very interesting and readable, paints a picture of China recent past that, as always, is normally hidden by our own mental prejudices and bias in the West. The parallel stories of the political turmoil from the Cultural Revolution to the death of Mao and the fall of the Gang of Four and the Tangshan earthquake are woven into a portrait of the country and its political and social changes that is very informative.

    23. This was a great educational book about Mao Zedong and his rule of China, especially during the Cultural Revolution. I gained a lot of interesting information from this book, and it also helped solidify what I had learned before about Mao Zedong. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in modern Chinese history and especially Chairman Mao.二零一六年: 第二是一本书

    24. Problematic as a history in a number of ways, but once Palmer focuses on the events of 76 and gets into story telling mode, this book is admittedly a page-turner. You just can't mess with the high drama of the fall of the Gang of Four, and Palmer has a good sense for the right details to use to bring the Tangshan earthquake to life.

    25. A brief history of the death of Chairman Mao and its effect on China, centered around a discussion of the extremely deadly Tangshan earthquake, which killed somewhere between 200,000 and 600,000 Chinese.

    26. This is an uncompromising, forthright book about the curious and tumultuous development of what we know as modern China. Anyone wishing to gain a better understanding of 1/4 of the world's people would do well to read this splendidly written book.

    27. This book was more about the political changes in China that happened when Mao died which happened to be the same year that they had a devastating earthquake there as well. I did learn things about China that I hadn't known so it wasn't a waste but I was often anxious for the book to be done.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *