Best chinese history books according to redditors

We found 1,051 Reddit comments discussing the best chinese history books. We ranked the 422 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Chinese History:

u/volt-aire · 291 pointsr/AskHistorians

I'm going to specifically compare Churchill's notion about Greco-Roman thought to the importance of Chinese classics in East Asia. I'd say it is comparable, but distinct from the Roman/Greek case, especially colored by the very recent history running up to where Churchill was.

In the Chinese case, on-and-off dynasties were run according to the precepts of the "four books and five classics." The four books were a set of texts written (or at least compiled by) Confucius and Mencius. While composed as mostly anecdotes, they established a system of propriety, morality, and "right action" that extended upwards and outwards from the home to the government. The classics were the basis of ancient Chinese religious, poetic, and ritual thought. They established a huge amount of the underlying aesthetic, religious, and cosmological worldviews that you see for millennia. These were seen as seminal to almost all literate Chinese individuals, right up until the reforms and upheavals towards the end of the Qing empire as the 19th century ended.

A specific example of their importance is the "Imperial exam system." Set up in the 600s, it determined participation in government work was based almost exclusively on these texts. Specific forms varied and, as time wore on, some texts and requirements were added or subtracted based on which dynasty was giving the test. The underlying basis, though, was always the four books and five classics.

The thought (and, specifically, the Four Books/Five Classics) was also extremely important to the Imperial forms of government in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam (to varying degrees based on place, time, and who in particular was running things).

Chinese Dynastic succession kept up at a reasonably fast pace and established successive, stable empires, with only a century or two of chaos in between--even foreign invaders like the Mongols or Manchu would acquire Han-educated advisors and set up governments based largely on Confucian tenets (Yuan and Qing were both 'foreign' dynasties). The thought of ancient China wasn't seen as something of a bygone age--it was immediate and current, seen as a lineage. As the Qing declined throughout the 19th and early 20th century, however, many saw it as clear to them that the entire worldview was flawed. Western nations, with their own notions of the world, were militarily superior and bullied the Qing Empire (dealing with its own massive internal issues, including a civil war that left more dead than 20 American Civil Wars). As a result, the ancient thought was discredited and a variety of Western ideologies took root. The one that eventually triumphed, Maoist Communism, explicitly sought to utterly destroy Confucian thought in the Cultural Revolution. The Chinese Communist Party has significantly moderated that stance since then, though, and the classics are once again revered. This is at least partially to set up a credible competing nationalist ideology to "the West,"
and one which isn't based on the now also largely discredited (and also, really, Western) Communist thought.

In Europe, you have the fall of Rome in the 400s and largely, there's chaos thereafter (Things are different in the East with the continuation of Byzantium, but Churchill speaks to a specifically Western European mode of thought). There were various Renaissances (many more than most people give credit for, I don't mean to get any Medievalists on me for downplaying the achievements in the period too much)--Charlamagne, the Ottonians, and others. Still, though, none of them succeeded in achieving anything close to the political hegemony of the Romans, much less in physical, engineering terms. Importantly, also, none of them had the control or longevity to be compared to really any of the dynasties that followed the Roman-comparable Han in our contrasting Chinese example. Rather than the living, functional, developing ideology that informed Empire after Empire, Rome was an ancient wonder. It was present--they could see it around them in the roads and aqueducts they used, the Christian religion they practiced, and the cities they lived in--but they couldn't match it. While pretensions to being "successors" to Rome and many aspects of Roman culture had remained, much of the specific text and practice had long passed by the wayside to be rediscovered during the Renaissance.

In the 'Renaissance that stuck' in the 1400s and onwards, they looked on Roman thought and art as something ancient and wonderful. Statues dug up, texts acquired from the Islamic world (where they had been continuing study of Plato/Aristotle for many of the intervening centuries), and other aspects of greco-roman thought created an idealized past of the "ancients" for the "moderns" to compare their world to. Since there was such distance, I would editorialize, it allowed for way more idolization. As the Renaissance and Enlightenment spread, modern nation-states still based a great deal of thought and practice rooted in this source of cultural legitimacy: A perfect empire that existed an untold amount of time ago.

This is where Churchill is coming from; an agent of a modern empire that, still, desperately wanted to cast itself in the mold of the source of ancient legitimacy. Rather than seeing ancient thought as shackles on modernity, it was (mostly rightly) seen as the seed from which the Enlightenment, Scientific Revolution, and subsequent ability to dominate most of the globe had sprung.

To sum up the difference: In China, you have a constant lineage of social and political thought that was in operation in an Empire torn to shreds and thus discredited, though later redeemed as a source of cultural/nationalist pride. In the UK, you have a strain of thought, the specifics of which were lost, held in reverence as a golden age before centuries of intermittent warfare and chaos. Its rediscovery sets off, in part, a sequence of events that sets the UK up as a truly global empire--reflecting on the idealized past, the British Empire is lionized as a "new Rome," necessarily owing much to the ideas from the "old Rome." Nothing legitimizes your social and political thought (in your mind, anyway) than literally conquering most of the planet with it.

Edited to add sources of where I formed these views--by no means exhaustive, mainly what I can remember off the top of my head/can pull off a bookshelf:

Chinese history:

u/CTR_CUCK_SHILL · 73 pointsr/history

Everything I've read, and that's not much, has suggested that it escalated when the Japanese found more resistance than they bargained for after assuming it would be an easy invasion. The soldiers were frustrated and emasculated in how difficult their invasion actually was and so they enacted brutal revenge on everything that moved once they finally overtook the city.

EDIT: Clarification; It wasn't just Nanking that frustrated them, it was the unanticipated resistance by the Chinese throughout the entire war that upset the expectations of the Japanese army leading up to the brutal siege on the city.

'The actual military invasion of Nanking was preceded by a tough battle at Shanghai that began in the summer of 1937. Chinese forces there put up surprisingly stiff resistance against the Japanese Army which had expected an easy victory in China. The Japanese had even bragged they would conquer all of China in just three months. The stubborn resistance by the Chinese troops upset that timetable, with the battle dragging on through the summer into late fall. This infuriated the Japanese and whetted their appetite for the revenge that was to follow at Nanking.'

EDIT 2: Jonathan Spence writes "there is no obvious explanation for this grim event, nor can one be found. The Japanese soldiers, who had expected easy victory, instead had been fighting hard for months and had taken infinitely higher casualties than anticipated. They were bored, angry, frustrated, tired. The Chinese women were undefended, their menfolk powerless or absent. The war, still undeclared, had no clear-cut goal or purpose. Perhaps all Chinese, regardless of sex or age, seemed marked out as victims."
Spence, Jonathan D. (1999) The Search for Modern China, W.W. Norton and Company. p. 424; ISBN 0-393-97351-4.

u/vincidahk · 70 pointsr/videos

The book is : Rape of Nanjing by Iris Chang

u/[deleted] · 55 pointsr/pics

It does. In fact people in North Korea, especially young people, welcome the blanket of darkness at night as it allows them to do things they might not necessarily be able to do during the day under the watchful eye of government party members. It's likely that since the creation of the state, many thousands of dates have taken place at night, in the darkness, under the blanket of stars.

edit: I read this in "Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea" by Barbara Demick. It's a fascinating read which really sheds light on the misery and tragedy of life in North Korea under the regime.

u/archamedeznutz · 48 pointsr/ShitPoliticsSays

This is what real rape culture looks like

You should know the difference between their "regular" concentration camps and the ones for special political prisoners. pretty sure you got no foosball or big screen TV's in either.

They can't pretend we don't know all this

Or that it's all an American lie

Or that this shit hasn't been known for decades already and confirmed repeatedly, again, and again

They can even criticize Trump's approach to the DPRK if it makes them feel better but this extravagant kind of heated lie is just offensive to both the world and the individuals who survive the Kim family horror show.

u/titanosaurian · 46 pointsr/pics

If you want a book recommendation about life in North Korea, check out Nothing to Envy

If you want to read from the perspective of a prison camp escapee, try Escape from Camp 14

Both are quite fascinating.

u/EJERommel · 43 pointsr/AskHistorians

I would suggest Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demmick. It deals specifically about the subject you raised.

It is a fascinating read.

u/hawthornepridewipes · 42 pointsr/todayilearned

jumping on your comment to say how much that book engrossed me and that anyone who has read Escape From Camp 14 might also be interested in reading Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick. Out of all of the books I have read about life in North Korea this is the one that made me realise how dire the situation is out there right now due to the many stories from the different walks of life in NK.

u/raohthekenoh · 39 pointsr/technology

I read it in this book.

Very interesting look at people's lives in North Korea from the perspective of people who eventually decided to defect.

u/homedoggieo · 30 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

This... is a lot of questions. As in, volumes and volumes and volumes written about it.

So I'll just answer the how did it become so crazy? bit.

Korea was targeted for missionary work, and many people were converted to Christianity. Once North Korea was isolated after the Korean War, a guy named Kim Il-Sung came along (Kim Jong-Il's dad, and Jong-Un's grandfather) took advantage of this isolation, and literally had his people paste his face over Jesus's. There's an insane mythology behind him, even stating that his birth was heralded in by a shining star in the north and the appearance of a double rainbow. I read that information from Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demmick, which is a great read if you're interested.

Anyway, if you denied any of this, you disappeared. Eventually, people were too afraid to deny it. Then they were too afraid to tell their children the truth, so you had a new generation being raised with only this information.

A crazy amount of propaganda, isolation from the outside world and several generations later, you have modern North Korea.

Now that South Korea is so advanced and smartphone technology is getting increasingly hard to control (along with a spotty northern border into China where people can sneak out and get new information and products), truth about the outside world is starting to seep in - but people are still too afraid to do anything about it, and the power-hungry regime will do anything to maintain control.

u/theabolitionist · 28 pointsr/AskReddit

Here is the deal with N. Korea. Pretty much the ones who live in Pyongyang, aka where the media actually have cameras, are brainwashed. Apparently, those who live in the city are chosen by the leadership to live there as it is an honor. Those on the outskirts of the main drag are more in tune to the reality of the situation their country is in. Yes, they still have the mandatory framed pictures of Kim Jong Il & Un on their walls and yes if interviewed, taped or pressured they will act as they are expected to but in reality they know something isn't right. I suggest anyone who is interested read Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick.

u/RedOrmTostesson · 24 pointsr/HistoryMemes

I just finished reading a book on Mao and Post-Mao China, and no, it's not even close to accurate.

Comparing the willful murder of six million humans to the tragic famines exacerbated by CCP mismanagement is a grotesque misunderstanding of both.

EDIT: If anyone wants to read it:

u/Ballinger · 23 pointsr/MorbidReality

If you want to know more about daily life in North Korea, check out this oral history book entitled Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

It is an amazing read, goes from after the Korean War, through the famine in the 1990s, to current day.

u/SantosMcGarry2016 · 22 pointsr/news

Well, they're taught that trickery will be involved as well, they they may seem nice but will actually kill you, etc.
It is hard to fathom the level of brainwashing that goes on in NK. Most people are taught, and fully believe, that Dear Leader can actually read their minds. This stops them from even THINKING dissenting thoughts. So as you can imagine, it will take a LOT of deprogramming to deal with this stuff.

Even people who leave North Korea and defect to the South, go through a three-month resettlement school called Hanawon, where they are deprogrammed and taught how to live in modern society. So even the people who have got to the point of dissolution and figured out how to leave, still need a LOT of retraining to actually learn what the real world is like.

Now consider that there have been roughly 26,000 North Koreans defect to South Korea since the Korean War. Each needing to be screened to make sure they are not a North Korean spy, sent to Hanawon for 3 months, given their resettlement payment and supported to settle in a whole new world.

Compare that to 25 million people who would need to be dealt with. It's estimated the cost would be in the trillions to handle the crisis. There are summits every year on planning for response to the eventual collapse of the NK regime.

But more to your point, these people are prepared for invasion, they have no trust for the "enemy" coming in, and even if they don't really believe in the regime anymore, they have to continue to pretend to be fighting against these invaders like everyone else. Everyone is an informant to the Workers Party there, which is the ruling party and the whole regime. So if you don't pretend to play along, you will be accused of treason and likely executed publicly or sent to a prison camp. Hard to say what that looks like under actual invasion, so my money is on execution.

This comes around to all of those defectors living in South Korea. Many of them report that, even years later and now that they are part of modern society, they will still find themselves defending Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-Il and now Kim Jong-Un, when people speak poorly of them. All of that work, deprogramming and life in far better circumstances, and they still automatically find themselves defending the regime that put them through hell. It's unbelievable!

(Hard to find a clear source on some of this stuff as it's a bit of a collage of the books on NK I've read. Probably a lot of it is from Nothing To Envy, as I've read that book about seven times and I can't get enough of it. I truly can't recommend anything more highly!

u/emr1028 · 21 pointsr/worldnews

You think that you've just made a super intelligent point because you've pointed out the obvious fact that the US has issues with human rights and with over-criminalization. It isn't an intelligent point because you don't know jack shit about North Korea. You don't know dick about how people live there, and I know that because if you did, you would pull your head out of your ass and realize that the issues that the United States has are not even in the same order of magnitude as the issues that North Korea has.

I recommend that you read the following books to give you a better sense of life in North Korea, so that in the future you can be more educated on the subject:

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag

u/Platypuskeeper · 20 pointsr/intresseklubben

Bakgrunden här är alltså att 1861 pågår Taipingupproret, ett av världshistoriens blodigaste konflikter än idag, där en religös sekt ledd av Hong Xiuquan - självutnämnd son av gud och bror av Jesus - gick i öppen revolt mot Kinas styrande Qingdynastin. Då försvagad av Opiumkrigen och med en sedan-länge försvagad centralstat. Rebellerna tar över en stor region av södra Kina och Nanjing blir deras huvudstad, 30 mil uppför Yangtzefloden från Shanghai, som då är internationell fördragshamn med sjömän och äventyrare från hela världen.

Så en del västerlänningar därifrån tar värvning som legosoldater - flest för Qingdynastin men ett fåtal för rebellerna. Vapensmuggling till rebellerna är också en lönsam verksamhet som många västerlänningar ägnar sig åt. ("the bulk of foreign gunrunners are British or American, but some are Belgian, Swedish, Prussian or Italian" - Johnathan Spence) Det var också västerländskt hjälp som i slutändan bidrog till att avsluta upproret.

Beskrivnigen slätar över att det sannolika syftet var att sälja vapen för siden. Den utpekar inte männen direkt som rebeller men beskrivningen 'långt hår' och med röda band identifierar dem för samtiden som Taipingrebeller. Det långa håret visade trots mot den av den manchuriska frisyren som Qingdynastin påtvingat kineserna. Kineserna kallade också Taipingrebellerna för 'de långhåriga'.

Okänt varför svensken har ett engelskklingande namn - kan vara ett alias, eller en förengelskning av ett svenskt namn - ingendera vore särskilt ovanligt för sjömän/äventyrare av den tiden.

u/Demux0 · 20 pointsr/martialarts

Chinese Martial Arts: From Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century by Peter Lorge covers the jian but not exclusively since it covers a bunch of weapons throughout Chinese history as an overview. In a nutshell, although some individuals managed to distinguish themselves in its usage, it was also widely regarded as a ceremonial weapon to distinguish officers and royalty. This is also why the jian is also typically much more decorated than, say, a spear would be, and why it's so popular in period cinema. It's a very fashionable weapon and a mark of nobility and class.

The broadsword (Dao) was the go-to for the purposes of practical warfare. Overall, the jian was largely disadvantaged on the battlefield compared to most other weapons but was common for personal self-defense for the simple reason that it was much more convenient to carry at all times than most other alternatives and usable in almost any circumstance.

u/hotsouple · 17 pointsr/GCdebatesQT

There is an excellent book on sex selective abortion by Maria Hvistendahl called Unnatural Selection that covers this subject much more in depth. Everyone interested please read it or at least the Washington Post article about it. I would link if my phone would let me

Edit: I did watch the John Oliver episode but didn't feel he dived deep enough into the misogyny of it, especially as someone who has been invested in the genocide of female infants and the sex selective abortion issue for many years.

2nd edit: coming through with the links! Sorry for not formatting them

u/ende76 · 16 pointsr/

Recommended reading to understand what has been going on in North Korea since the 70s, from the people's perspective: Nothing to Envy, by Barbara Demick

It illustrates superbly how the people are affected by the insanity of their leaders, all the while trying to keep their belief and faith in their country. From the book you will learn, that it is quite possible that this woman in the video barely escaped death by starvation, that she has probably had to step over dozens of bodies of children that died from hunger in her town, that probably most of her family members have died from lack of food, and that the regime's indoctrination is so infused in her life, that at the point where she is being beaten for trying to survive in China, she probably believes in her heart that she has done something wrong.

u/taxalmond · 15 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Take a look at "Nothing to Envy" by Barbara Demick. You'd be surprised.

These are people who, by and large,don't know that the internet even exists. There's a story told by one defector in that book where they got illicit TV feeds from South Korea - it was a sitcom. The story was about two people fighting over a parking space. The North Koreans who watched it thought that the comedy was in the absurdity of anyone other than the Military having a car.

They are completely politically illiterate, because they have one source of information - the government. Political discussions don't happen. If you are overheard saying something that might be remotely negative about the gov't, off you go to the labor camps.

This is a society that has been completely cut off from the rest of the world. There is nothing ridiculous about the idea that there will be severe culture shock if/when there is a reunification.

There is an entire educational system devoted to teaching defectors how to live in a modern country.

u/Johnnyallstar · 13 pointsr/guns

>When there is not enough to eat people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.

Chairman Mao

u/adamsw216 · 11 pointsr/Art

For Korea in general I took a lot of East Asian history courses, including courses on relations with the west, in college. I studied abroad in South Korea for a time where I studied Korean history (ancient and modern) as well as Korean culture and sociology (mostly South Korea). I also had the pleasure of speaking with someone from North Korea.
But if you're interested to know more, these are some sources I can personally recommend...


u/IphtashuFitz · 11 pointsr/worldnews

No need. If you go read books like Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea you'll learn that there's already a thriving underground North Korean population in China just outside of Korea. When the food and economic situations in North Korea started getting really bad in the 90's lots of North Koreans risked going to China for jobs. They, and the local Chinese, apparently got pretty good at hiding from the Chinese military & police who would occasionally show up and try to round up North Koreans to ship back home.

u/markth_wi · 10 pointsr/booksuggestions

I can think of a few

u/run85 · 10 pointsr/running

Don't be silly. First, there's no way that that tour company does a lot of good humanitarian work in NK because nothing can be done without the explicit approval of the state. Whatever money they think they're giving, and however many meals they think are going to the orphanage, are probably going to help mid-level cadres bribe their kids' way into Kim Il-Sung University. Of course that money is going straight to the NK government. The only reason they let tourists in is because tourists pay lots of money for the privilege of a sanitized tour of the nicest parts of Pyongyang, with bonus appearances by North Korean citizens who definitely, 100% were not placed there by the regime and do not have to report on you afterwards. I recommend you read the book 'Nothing to Envy' by Barbara Demick for a general idea of things.

u/criticalnegation · 10 pointsr/HistoryPorn
u/TheSanityInspector · 10 pointsr/gifs

Limited to one child, they aborted females fetuses, causing the current gender imbalance. Read about it here:

u/baselganglia · 10 pointsr/worldnews

So it's ok to harvest their organs?

Edit: apparently folks are too blind. The references are right there:

CNN Report on Organ Harvesting in China

Ethan Gutmann, “The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting and China’s Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem”, (Prometheus Books, 2014)

The Peabody Awards, “Human Harvest:China’s Illegal Organ Trade (International Syndication)

Huang, Jiefu; Mao, Yilei; Millis, J Michael (2008). "Government policy and organ transplantation in China". The Lancet

VANDERKLIPPE, NATHAN (22 June 2016). "Report alleges China killing thousands to harvest organs". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 14 February 2017

Joshua Keating, “China Says it will Stop Harvesting Organs from Executed Prisoners”,, 4 December 2014

u/Udontlikecake · 9 pointsr/badhistory

First of all, let's try to be academic. That means no name calling. Also random capitalization doesn't do much.


I am not an expert, but I could link to experts (although searching for "Great Chinese Famine" in JSTOR gives you a lot of stuff!)

Here is one nice link

Have also heard go things about this book.

My understanding is mostly of Mao forcing people away from agricultural production, and towards iron, among other things. Also the very famous genocide of all of the birds, which resulted in a glut of pests that killed crops (a mainstay ecological case!). Also like the Irish famine, the government forced exports, which is obviously horrible.

Also: central planning lol

While I appreciate your study of primary sources, I would like to bring this back to my original post. China, like Turkey, has a habit of covering things up, and a vested interest in lying. Just try researching the Tiananmen Square Massacre! So any primary source documents (especially ones from the party and ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY anything released for public consumption) is often highly inaccurate.

A big part of historical analysis is evaluating sources for their accuracy, their message, their audience, etc. Although i'm sure you know this, it is important to keep in mind.

u/Bigbysjackingfist · 9 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

These anecdotes are from Nothing to Envy, I believe.

u/Erikt311 · 9 pointsr/MilitaryPorn

I believe this is mostly a misconception. Despite how the government tries, North Koreans are more aware than you might think. There’s a fantastic book about life in NK that I highly recommend:

u/elbac14 · 8 pointsr/books

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick. I can't explain why in just a few words but it is simply the best book I've ever read.

u/suby · 8 pointsr/atheism

I read the same thing. 99% sure I read it from the book nothing to envy.

It's a pretty good book.

u/motwist · 8 pointsr/books

I have an English degree, but I didn't read nonfiction until I graduated a few years ago. Here are the best I've read: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann, and Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl.

u/Monkeyavelli · 8 pointsr/worldnews

> Yet, how is it any different from those of you who suggest that life is better than death?

What the hell is wrong with you? North Koreans aren't some alien race, they're human beings who also don't want to die. Read memoirs from NK escapees like The Aquariums of Pyongyang or Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. I attended a talk by the man written about in Escape from Camp 14, a man born in a NK prison camp who managed to escape.

These are not people longing for death; they're people longing for life.

>Why do you feel that it is fair to use your own experiences in this life to determine the value of life for other people?

We're not. You are:

"We shouldn't let people starve to death."

"But how do we know they don't want to starve to death!?"

You have absolutely no idea at all what you're talking about, your opinion is idiotic, and you're an awful person for having it.

Honestly, what the fuck is wrong with you? I hate this false "all positions are equal, teach the controversy!" charade.

u/makebelievee · 8 pointsr/history

The Search for Modern China by Johnathan Spence is an excellent history of China from the 16th Century to 1989, with extensive coverage of Mao Zedong and the fallout of his rule.

u/Axana · 7 pointsr/TrueReddit

There's an interesting passage in the book Nothing to Envy about the fertilizer shortages. Since North Korea can't afford to buy or produce fertilizer, they use human shit to fertilize their farms. To obtain this fertilizer, the government instituted a poop quota for each neighborhood block. Basically this meant that after you finished your business, you deposited your poop into specially designated buckets. The government would then collect the buckets and distribute them to the farms. If your block didn't meet the quota, then everyone in the block would get in trouble.

u/sympathetic_rapist · 7 pointsr/todayilearned

Sinologist Jonathan Spence actually has an excellent book on this topic: God's Chinese Son.

u/Lurkess · 7 pointsr/todayilearned
u/evolsdogdogho · 7 pointsr/samharris

When people talk about "genocide" in the Soviet Union or the People's Republic of China (PRC) (and I use quotation marks to distance myself from the debate of whether these atrocities were technically genocides, not to take a position in that debate), they generally refer to two types of state-driven killing: man-made famines and political violence.

For man-made famines, look into the Holodomer in the Soviet Union ( and the Great Leap Forward in the PRC ( For the political violence, learn about labor camps (gulags) in the Soviet Union ( and the Cultural Revolution in the PRC (

Even after accounting for Western bias, it's completely fair to say that communism killed more people in the 20th century than Hitler did (I say this with the caveat that I am much more familiar with the case of China than of the Soviet Union). Here's my argument for why violent atrocities should be attributed as an inherent feature of Marxist thought after a fair amount of study of the PRC:

In the Communist Manifesto, Marx argues per his material dialecticism that persons are made by their relationship to the means of production and that all the suffering of the nineteenth century was due to changes in the relationship of society to the means of production by the creation of a new category of person: the bourgeoisie. Marx's solution to economic problems was both that 1) bourgeoise persons must be eliminated and that 2) the possibility of bourgeoise persons must be eliminated. The leaders of the Soviet Union and of the PRC took these arguments very seriously. The policies that led to the Holodomer famine and the the Great Leap Forward famines were the direct result of Communist leadership attempting to reformulate society in such away that the bourgeoise person becomes impossible. Political violence was intended to either eliminate or reform bourgeoise persons.

Communism and leftist thinking generally leads to violence because it places the sanctity of a set of ideas above the sanctity of life. These are foundational to Marxist thought and not much can be rescued from it without accepting an intellectual path that ultimately justifies innumerable forms of violence in pursuit of the end of violence.

u/wolfmanlenin · 7 pointsr/communism

As far as China goes, Fanshen, The Unknown Cultural Revolution, and The Battle for China's Past are probably a great place to start.

u/trudeauisapussy · 7 pointsr/canada

>Are we finally calling the country with no environmental enforcement, that chops peoples heads off in public squares, and shits on womens rights "dirty" . I can't believe my eyes.

Clearly not. We still deal with China and they are guilty of all of the above minus public head chops, but can substitute that for mobile execution vans that kills you and butchers you for your organs on the go. (

China has concentration camps

China kills and butchers political dissidents regularly

China kidnaps people world wide including prominent people like the head of Interpol, not a peep in the media (especially nothing like kashoggi)

Kidnaps Americans no problem

Bans Winnie the Pooh for looking like their glorious leader

China electroshocks and tortures gays

And even after all that our lovely leader who claims he's a champion for LGBQT rights and humans rights still deals with them even takes bribes to line his own pockets and panics when questioned ( (even famously denied questions when asked 18x about it , hell the guy even was caught praising their dictatorship.(

All this focus on Saudis and not equally on China should tell you some nefarious is going on.

u/shadowsweep · 7 pointsr/geopolitics

You're spreading nonsense. India started the war against China.


edit: more facts

>“Q: What in your opinion were the policies, on both sides, that brought about the basic quarrel over the border?

>Neville Maxwell(author): As far as the McMahon Line was concerned India inherited the dispute with China, which the British had created in the mid-1930s by seizing the Tibetan territory they re-named NEFA. The PRC government was prepared to accept that border alignment but insisted that it be re-negotiated, that is put through the usual diplomatic process, to wipe out its imperialist origins. Nehru refused, using London's false claim that the Simla Conference had already legitimised the McMahon Line to back up that refusal — that was his Himalayan blunder. Then in 1954 he compounded that mistake by laying cartographic claim to a swathe of territory in the north-west, the Aksai Chin, a claim which was beyond anything the British had ever claimed and on an area which Chinese governments had treated as their own for at least a hundred years. To make matters worse, he ruled that there should be no negotiation over that claim either! So Indian policy had created a border dispute and also ruled out the only way it could peacefully be settled, through diplomatic negotiation.”

It wasn't China, but Nehru who declared 1962 war: Australian journalist Neville Maxwell


>“NEW DELHI: In a marked U-turn from the earlier stand taken by BJP, the Modi government has firmly ruled out the release of the classified Henderson Brooks report into India's humiliating military debacle against China in 1962.” “The Henderson Brooks report squarely blames the then Jawarharlal Nehru government's ill-conceived and ill-timed "Forward Policy", without proper intelligence or adequate military preparation, for India's abject defeat in 1962.”

In U-turn, Modi govt rules out release of Henderson Brooks report


>“This book shows how much we can be misled by the media London TIMES reporter Nevile Maxwell wrote this book solely based on the declassified documents from India's Defense Department. It shows how India's prime minister Mr. Nehru launched the "northern advance" policy disregard the historical evidence were all against India's claim. The war started by Indian army firing upon the Chinese border garrison force and ended up with India's humiliating total defeat. But ironically, we in the West always believed that Chinese, instead of India, was the aggressor.”

India's China War

u/filibusterdouglas · 6 pointsr/circlebroke

Yeah I didn't really have a clue about how it was in North Korea until reading this book. As an american who has never gone more than two days without food, it was hard for me to even imagine what they went (and go) through. Thanks for the link

u/bearhat808 · 6 pointsr/conspiracy

The defector in Escape from Camp 14 recanted parts of his story.

I recommend reading Nothing to Envy instead, which is about daily life in North Korea.

u/OptimusPrune · 6 pointsr/worldnews

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, by Barbara Demick, is an excellent if disturbing read if you're really interested.

Nothing to Envy

u/vonmonologue · 6 pointsr/todayilearned

> Germany and America were at Total war during ww2 and yet the Americans didn't indiscriminately kill civilians, did they?

Yes, they did.

>And it's also not the reason why the Japanese chose to kill the Chinese so freely. The Japanese killed the Chinese for the same reasons the Germans were killing Jews. Ethnic cleansing. Japan thought of Asia as their realm. The same way Germany saw Europe as rightfully theirs.

That's not wholly accurate. According to The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang, the Japanese mindset was that they were the nation most capable of Protecting Asia against Western Imperialism, and they had spent the last several decades preparing to do so. They were playing the part of heroes in their own minds. Part of what they needed to do, however, was Annex china (who at the time were an ass-backwards almost pre-industrial nation) because China has/had some of the best farmlands in the world. Japan's official line was that they would better be able to utilize China's farmlands, since the Chinese were nearly a century behind Japan in development at the time and were portrayed as useless idiots. Also, it would help them grow their Japanese Empire to keep Asia safe from the west. Because Japan didn't want European empires in their backyard.

So the propaganda gets a bit out of hand, everyone gets riled up, and next thing you know you have Japanese officers engaging in contests to see who can execute 100 Chinese civilians the fastest with Katanas and raping women before tearing their unborn infants from their still-living bodies with bayonet points.

Because hey, the Chinese were inferior and were subhuman, right? lower than dogs. That's why they had to invade China! To protect them.

u/KingRobotPrince · 6 pointsr/CringeAnarchy

In case anyone is interested, this image is featured in the book The Slaughter.

>The inside story of China's organ transplant business and its macabre connection with internment camps and killing fields for arrested dissidents, especially the adherents of Falun Gong.

It's a really interesting book.

u/vietthrowmeaway · 6 pointsr/AsianMasculinity

East Asians and South Asians have always influenced one another, it's amazing and culturally rich and full of history.


Buddha was a non-Indo Aryan Nepali. The Shakya clan of Gautama Buddha, Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka were East Asians who unified the various culturally rich kingdoms of India and Pakistan, they even defeated the Seleucid Greeks with King Parbatak of Limbuwan.


The people who brought Islamic civilization, law, science, warfare, mathematics, astronomy, literature, architecture, cartogaphy, philosophy, surgery, lexicography, medicine, arithmetic to India were Turko-Mongol men of the Delhi sultanates and Mughal Empire.

The Mughals also defeated the Pashtuns who were known to hate Hindus.

>According to the British officer John Masters, Pathan women in the North-West Frontier Province (1901–1955) of British India during the Anglo-Afghan Wars would castrate non-Muslim soldiers who were captured, especially British and Sikhs.[37][38] Pathan women urinated into prisoners' mouths.[39] A method of execution by this is recorded: captured British soldiers were spread out and fastened with restraints to the ground, then a stick, or a piece of wood was used to keep their mouth open to prevent swallowing. Pathan women then squatted and urinated directly into the mouth of the man until he drowned in the urine, taking turns one at a time. There is an incident mentioned when a Hindu man was brutally raped by a gang of Pashtun women, before they drowned him in their urine.[40][41][42][43][44][45][46] This method of execution was reported to have been practiced specifically by the women of the Afridi tribe of the Pashtuns.[47]

>Positive Historical Legacy

Shiva, one of the primary gods in Hinduism, was a Kirata East Asian man.

Kirātārjunīya (Sanskrit: किरातार्जुनीय, Of Arjuna and the Kirāta) is a Sanskrit kavya by Bhāravi, written in the 6th century or earlier. It is an epic poem in eighteen cantos describing the combat between Arjuna and lord Shiva at Indrakeeladri hills in present-day Vijayawada in the guise of a kirāta or mountain-dwelling hunter. Along with the Naiṣadhacarita and the Shishupala Vadha, it is one of the larger three of the six Sanskrit mahakavyas, or great epics.[1] It is noted among Sanskrit critics both for its gravity or depth of meaning, and for its forceful and sometimes playful expression. This includes a canto set aside for demonstrating linguistic feats, similar to constrained writing. Later works of epic poetry followed the model of the Kirātārjunīya.

The Kirātārjunīya predominantly features the Vīra rasa, or the mood of valour.[2] It expands upon a minor episode in the Vana Parva ("Forest book") in the Mahabharata: While the Pandavas are exiled in the forest, Draupadi and Bhima incite Yudhishthira to declare war with the Kauravas, while he does not relent. Finally, Arjuna, at the instruction of Indra, propitiates god Shiva with penance (tapasya) in the forest. Pleased by his austerities, Shiva decides to reward him. When a demon named Muka, in the form of a wild boar, charges toward Arjuna, Shiva appears in the form of a Kirāta, a wild mountaineer. Arjuna and the Kirāta simultaneously shoot an arrow at the boar, and kill it. They argue over who shot first, and a battle ensues. They fight for a long time, and Arjuna is shocked that he cannot conquer this Kirāta. Finally, he recognises the god, and surrenders to him. Shiva, pleased with his bravery, gives him the powerful weapon, the Pashupatastra, which later in the Mahabharata aids him against Jayadratha and the Kauravas during the Kurukshetra war.[3][4]

>While Arjuna was seeking Siva as directed by Indra, that god took on the form of a Kirata and, radiant as a GOLDEN TREE, he loomed as large as a second Mount meru. - Mahabharata By Chakravarthi V. Narasimhan

>Arjuna then looked at the being, resplendent as gold, dressed as a hunter, and accompanied by a woman, who had shot at the boar. With joy in his heart , Arjuna smilingly said to him "O you golden creature! Who are you? and why are you roaming the deserted forest along with so many women? Are you not afraid of this dreadful forest?"

Unfortunately, the grandfather of Rabindranath Tagore was involved in smuggling opium into China and selling it to the masses with British help.

>Sweet and Sour Relationship

India's most successful bodybuilder is Boby Arambam who is from Manipur and East Asian. Another great athlete from the North East is Mary Kom. Jimjang Deru is also breaking records in Indian weightlifting.

Many international players in the Indian national soccer team are also from the North East

40% of them are East Asian, most of them play offensive positions which require a lot of stamina, speed, strong legs, coordination and goal scoring capabilities (yeah, I think he's named after Jackie Chan) (Gurkha, top scorer, his gf is Indian-"Aryan")

The best Indian football player was Tibetan

India acknowledges that the athleticism of East Asians is great, but fails to treat them fairly and without discrimination and institutionalized racism, they are only there for the sake of bringing medals and sports trophies to India. Mary Kom for example was played by Priyanka Chopra instead of a North Eastern actress which is kind of like whitewashing.

>Rising Together

If we can solve this problem, then India, Pakistan, Iran, Central Asia, Russia and China can certainly rise together:

India should stop interfering in the South China Sea just to inflame tensions and project power. It's not good for pan-Asianism.

>Relations between China and India in the 1950s were very good. Nehru had extended India’s hand of friendship to the People’s Republic of China, at a time when some in the West, were hostile to it.

India under Nehru started the war of 1962 against China. China retaliated.

>“NEW DELHI: In a marked U-turn from the earlier stand taken by BJP, the Modi government has firmly ruled out the release of the classified Henderson Brooks report into India's humiliating military debacle against China in 1962.” “The Henderson Brooks report squarely blames the then Jawarharlal Nehru government's ill-conceived and ill-timed "Forward Policy", without proper intelligence or adequate military preparation, for India's abject defeat in 1962.”

In U-turn, Modi govt rules out release of Henderson Brooks report

>"This book shows how much we can be misled by the media London TIMES reporter Nevile Maxwell wrote this book solely based on the declassified documents from India's Defense Department. It shows how India's prime minister Mr. Nehru launched the "northern advance" policy disregard the historical evidence were all against India's claim. The war started by Indian army firing upon the Chinese border garrison force and ended up with India's humiliating total defeat. But ironically, we in the West always believed that Chinese, instead of India, was the aggressor.”

>Border Dispute

To stop the armed insurgencies in occupied North East India and Kashmir and to stop the even more violent backlashes by the Indian state, the Sino-Tibetan North East and Muslim Kashmir and Communist Naxalies should be allowed to secede from India which would also be a step forward toward decolonization from British imperial legacy. Keeping these regions would be akin to neocolonialism.

When all the conflicts are solved, then this should be possible:

Chinese soldier returns home after 54 years in India

There is always a silver lining. Many Brahmin women from wealthy Indian families marry Chinese and South East Asian men.



u/bobthewraith · 6 pointsr/shittyfoodporn

Every time a discussion regarding tourism to North Korea starts, this point always comes up. After all, it is a valid and natural point of concern.

Yes, North Korea has concentration camps and an atrocious human rights record. Nobody (except the North Korean government) is going to deny that. Yes, any foreigners in North Korea will have significant restrictions on freedom of movement. No one who has gone there is going to tell you otherwise.

Having been educated and cultivated in the West, where oftentimes we can take matters like human rights and freedom of movement for granted, our instant reaction is to be disgusted by this - so disgusted that we'll cry out "North Korea is the most evil place in the world" and instantly clam up in anger. Sometimes that anger, and the lack of reliable information about North Korea, will lead us to sensationalize. We'll try to explain unexplainable evil as a massive prison camp or a farcical socialist movie set.

This is natural and has basis in reality, but, in my opinion, is unhelpful.

If we want to truly make some sense out of that unexplainable evil, which to an appreciable extent is a prerequisite for any sort of meaningful change, we need to take a more nuanced approach. Sometimes, that could involve taking a visit.

From my perspective, going on a tour to North Korea is not supposed to be like sunning in Mallorca or frolicking in Disneyworld. You don't go there to have "fun", you go there to learn. If your objective in traveling is to have "fun", then by god don't go to North Korea. But my objective in traveling places is not to have "fun"; it's to learn.

The next instinctual response is to cry out: "But you won't learn anything! They're just going to parade you around and show you propaganda!"

Again, I think this line of thinking trivializes the matter. In earlier stages of Western education systems, we oftentimes learn about bias and come to perceive it as an absolute negative. In secondary schools you might hear kids going "oh, this source is biased, so we can't use it!" This is incorrect. Bias is not an absolute negative; biased sources like propaganda simply need to be approached differently. Propaganda is rich with information, but not the factual, face-value information you might expect from some place like an encyclopedia. Instead, you glean the wealth of contextual information it offers. Let's say you're reading Chinese propaganda from the Cultural Revolution, and some of it praises this guy named Lin Biao, while some of it denounces him. From that you shouldn't conclude "some of this shit must be fake". Instead, you can extract hints of the regime's worldview, and use the propaganda to piece together the context that perhaps Lin Biao had a falling out with Mao.

Visiting North Korea is much like that. There's a richness of context from both what's seen and unseen, from what's heard and unheard. If you're equipped with the right advance knowledge and the right academic mindset, there is in fact a lot you can internalize about actual North Koreans and the country itself.

Yes, there remains the issue of lining the pockets of the regime and whatnot, and I'm fully aware of that fact. As with everything else relating to the DPRK, there's layers of nuance to this financial facet of the regime that would take rather long to explain, so I won't do it here.

If you do want to hear that explained/debated, and go beyond CNN articles and "Team America", I'd recommend starting off with the following books:

  • Under the Loving Care of Fatherly Leader, by Bradley K. Martin: A 900 page behemoth that's probably the most comprehensive guide to the North Korean regime out there.
  • Nothing to Envy, by Barbara Demick: If you want to learn more about the ordinary lives of "actual North Koreans" from outside Pyongyang.
  • The Aquariums of Pyongyang, by Choi-hwan Kang: The first book published from someone who went through one of those infamous concentration camps.
  • The Impossible State, by Victor Cha: Written by a former White House official and Six-Party Talks participant, this book provides a view into the complex foreign policy calculus relating to the DPRK.

    If after you finish reading all that stuff you get curious enough to go, then that's your choice. If you don't, no one's going to force you to go either. We're fortunate enough to live in societies that generally respect freedom of choice and movement; if we want to play the game of moral superiority, being able to visit North Korea is the ultimate manifestation of that freedom.

u/fojiaotu · 5 pointsr/China

This book is banned in China.

Why do you think that is?

u/keck314 · 5 pointsr/IAmA

Yeah, parent is entirely untrue. In fact, many of their TVs are Chinese and Japanese, which are then modified by the telecommunications bureau to only receive government stations. As you might expect, hacking them back to full functionality is a time-honored pastime.

This book describes the phenomenon, and is generally excellent. It even describes what happened when an NKer got their hands on a copy of 1984!

u/STATINGTHEOBVIOUS333 · 5 pointsr/MilitaryPorn

NK has changed a lot. People understand that they are left behind.

u/chaircrow · 5 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Nothing to Envy is good. Disturbing as hell, though, so be prepared.

u/bakedpatato · 5 pointsr/NorthKoreaNews

obviously the numbers aren't 100% accurate but the comment is reasonable per this book

u/jaywalker1982 · 5 pointsr/MorbidReality

I encourage, as always, everyone pick up The Aquariums of Pyongyang , Escape from Camp 14 , as well as Nothing To Envy as u/winginit21 mentioned.

Also David Hawk's The Hidden Gulag:Second Edition is a great resource. (PDF File)

u/zerrt · 5 pointsr/IAmA

For number 3, here are some good books that will go a long way to answering this question:

Nothing to Envy (stories of ordinary citizens who eventually fled)

Escape from Camp 14 (this one is about a prisoner camp inmate who escaped)

The short answer is that many people are starting to (illegally) cross between the border of North Korea and China to trade, as well as escaping permanently. There are smuggling businesses that you can hire to get you or a loved one out. If you have the money, this will involve a fake passport and even a plane flight all the way to South Korea. If you are poor, the trip is much more harrowing and dangerous.

The amount of people defecting seems to be growing by quite a bit each year.

u/egjeg · 5 pointsr/ChineseHistory

There's a good audio course called Yao to Mao. I like this because it was easy to listen to while travelling around China.

My favourite comprehensive history book is The search for modern china

u/Shaneosd1 · 5 pointsr/totalwar

I would recommend this book by John Keay, an excellent survey of Chinese history. Tons of great podcasts have been mentioned as well, so I'll mention the Romance of the 3 Kingdoms Podcast, which is a reading of the novel by someone who can explain all the very detailed Chinese cultural references to a Western audience.

u/InhLaba · 5 pointsr/booksuggestions

Some nonfiction books I enjoyed that came to mind:

u/Scoxxicoccus · 5 pointsr/martialarts

Historiography has been particularly useful in the development of HEMA and hasn't done any harm to the traditional asian arts either.

u/Dorktron2000 · 5 pointsr/books

Some recommendations:

  • China Wakes - former NY Times correspondent details his experiences during the 1980-90's
  • In Our Image - history of America's colonial empire in the Philippines
  • China: A New History - a nice overview of dynastic China

u/IMjust · 5 pointsr/China

Indeed its old and comes from this book by F. Dikotter. The author did manage to access provincial CCP archives, the central one is closed still. After his book China is less into letting foreign researchers seek sensitive sources.

u/iwouldnotdig · 5 pointsr/changemyview

>I've seen this claim a lot, "Communism killed 1xx Million people" on various right-wing plattforms or published by right-wing outlets.

I believe what you meant to say was "in all the serious scholarly work that's been done on the subject."

>And let's also asume that every country today operates under capitalism.

Why would you assume that?

>Under those conditions, preventable deaths in form of dying from hunger (around 8 million) dying of thirst (no decicive number, 1 million was the low end of estimations, so let's go with that) or dying of easily preventable diseases (Again, not a clear number can be found obviously, but the low-end was a couple of millions) should be applied to the current ruling system, just like famines in the USSR and China count towards the death toll of communism.

Well, not exactly. First, your number for modern famine deaths is wildly exagerated. And every modern famine has been the result not of capitalism, but of governments actively trying to starve certain groups of people, which certainly can't be blamed on capitalism. Second, that 100 million figure includes people actively starved to death by communist policies and deliberate murders. It does NOT include people who died from diseases that could have been cured had the people in those societies been wealthier. if you're going to measure people who died incidentally, then you have to include incidental deaths in communist systems as well, and since GDP per capita and life expectancy are strongly correlated, and communist countries substantially underperformed economically, that makes the communist toll even more enormous.

>There is more than enough food, water and medicine for all these deaths to be prevented, I wouldn't count these deaths if there was just not enough for everybody

Why not? A system that doesn't produce enough to feed everyone is a bad system.

>- These people don't have access to said thing because of the mechanics of capitalism (Which is to say: They don't have money to buy said things)

Again, this is not an accurate description of famines in modern times.

>And if you argue that way, than communism improved things too. If the death toll of one ideology is counted from begining to finish, why not the other one?

You should count both, of course, and then compare the two. ANd when you do that, communism comes off much, much worse.

u/ozogot · 5 pointsr/zen


Lump of red flesh translates 赤肉團上, which refers to either the physical heart or the physical body. The expression undoubtedly derives from the following passage in the Chanyuan zhuquanji duxu 禪源諸詮集都序 (Preface to the Anthology of essential writings on the origins of Chan), a work by the Chan and Huayan master Guifeng Zongmi:

>Regarding the word 心, in short there are four kinds. The Sanskrit word for each is diff erent and the translation of each is also diff erent. First, 紇利陀那 [the Chinese transliteration of Skr., “hṛdāya”], which is called “the fl esh-lump heart” 肉團心. Th is is the heart which is one of the fi ve organs within the body.

True man without rank translates 無 位眞人, a term coined by Linji that is one of the key expressions in his presentation of Chan. “True man” 眞人 was originally a term for the ideal, perfected adept of Taoism. Th e best-known, and perhaps earliest, appearance of the term is in the “Dazongshi” 大宗師 chapter of the Zhuangzi 莊子, where the characteristics of the classic Taoist “true man” are described in detail.

In Buddhist works from the Later Han on, the term was used to designate fully enlightened disciples of the Buddha, i.e., completed arhats. Later, “true man” 眞人 was also applied to bodhisattvas.

Face is an abbreviated form of the text’s “face-gate” 面門, an exclusively Buddhist term that originally meant “mouth.” Later the term acquired the more general meaning of “face,” with particular reference to the sense organs, a meaning that it seems to have here.

It is possible, however, that in Linji’s time the word was used for the face itself, since we find the master saying later in the text, “Don’t have the seal of sanction stamped haphazardly upon your face 面門 by any old teacher from anywhere” (see page 194).

The source of the specific phrase in our text is a passage from the long poem Xinwang ming 心王銘 (Verses on the Mind King), attributed to Fu Dashi.

The poem, having referred to the Mind King, who, for all his importance, is not evident to the senses, goes on to say:

>The salt put in water / The glue put in paint—
Certainly these are present / But we cannot see their form.
The Mind King is also thus / Abiding within the body,
Going in and out the [gate of the] face / In response to things, according to their feelings.
Freely and without hindrance / All his undertakings are accomplished

In the original translation Sasaki renders the Chinese, 乾屎橛, as “shit-wiping stick,” saying that the term literally means a “cleaning-off -dung-stick,” a smooth stick of bamboo used in place of toilet paper, with 乾 being the verb “to clean.”

However, Sasaki’s chief researcher for Tang-dynasty slang, Iriya Yoshitaka, subsequently came to believe that the correct interpretation is “stick-shaped piece of dung” (Iriya 1989, 21).

A similar usage is found in the Dahui Pujue Chanshi yulu 大慧普覺禪師語 錄 (Record of Chan Master Dahui Pujue), where the two characters 屎麼 form a noun-compound:

>“I say to [such stupid monks], ‘You’re biting on the dung-sticks of others. You’re not even good dogs!’” (t 47: 872a).


The yk has, “[A monk asked,] ‘What is Śākya’s body?’ The master (Yunmen) said, ‘A dung-wiper!’” (t 47: 550b). In the zj 19 the passage parallel to that in the ll reads, “What kind of filthy thing is he?” 是什麼不淨之物.

Sasaki’s other collaborator, Yanagida Seizan, interprets the term to mean “useless dung stick,” explaining that 乾 does not have its usual meaning of “dry,” but is synonymous with the homophonous 閑, “useless” (Yanagida 1977, 52). Regardless of the details of the interpretation, the intention is obviously the same.


u/A-True-socialist · 5 pointsr/BreadTube
u/rockstaticx · 4 pointsr/worldnews

Yes, living in North Korea is like 1984 except everyone is starving. I highly recommend reading this book for more information.

If you live in the Western world, what you learn about North Korea is almost literally unbelievable.

u/trashpile · 4 pointsr/China

Jonathan Spence's Search for Modern China is a nice overview of recent-ish stuff. Spence's other works are also pretty fantastic.

u/IlllIlllIll · 4 pointsr/worldnews

> It's a fairly recent phenomenon brought about by the actions of the communist regime.

No. This is a myth.

Public defecation was common in 19th century China--their use of nightsoil was largely what kept the country's large population going for centuries. I recommend this book:

u/zovencedo · 4 pointsr/kungfu

i feel dumb at posting this for the thousandth time, but apparently people are too busy to scroll through previous posts.
"Chinese Martial Arts - From antiquity to the twenty-first century", Peter Lorge, Cambridge University Press

Or, click on the following link:

This is an extremely good starting point. As a general advice, thinking in terms of styles that are currently practiced won't get you very far. But good luck anyway.

u/kwamzilla · 4 pointsr/kungfu

Some books:

u/SunAtEight · 4 pointsr/communism101

For Mao, if you're looking for a book, read Maurice Meisner's Mao's China and After: A History of the People's Republic (here's a link to the PDF).

For a documentary, check out Passion of the Mao, but be warned that this is far more informal and not as good as sitting down and reading Meisner. In fact, it's a downright weird documentary. See my comments here.

u/Kropotki · 4 pointsr/socialism

Read Fanshen.

it's the ultimate documentive account of what life was like in the Maoist communes.

u/cand86 · 4 pointsr/AskFeminists

I don't think that's the point ami_anai was making, though- native Chinese women may be getting more attention and resources from their families, as they are the only child onto which to lavish such, but the skewed sex ratio means that women from other countries are being kidnapped and trafficked to make up the deficit. In other words, for certain women, that scarcity drives up their value only in monetary terms- they are objectified and sold or stolen.

Mara Hvistendahl's book Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men talks about this (you can see bits and pieces here).

u/Yourpronouniscunt · 4 pointsr/politics

China is already #1 at being shit.

Has anyone ever actually taken a qualitative look at China? If you want to over-simplify things and say that the founders of America created this country in the image of Liberty, then you would oversimplify China by saying that it's founders set out to create a country in the image of a Dumpster fire.

Most people who harbor opinions about China do so with relatively little knowledge of what China is actually like, or what happens inside of it. I am by no means an expert, but I implore anyone who sees this to investigate some of the points I have to offer.

China's rising military strength correlates to the advent of their naval warfare programs. In prior decades, China had almost no ability to project their immense manpower due to their infrastructure, airforce, and navy all being shit. They love to tout their Aircraft carrier, the Liaoning (which in reality they should call the big soviet piece of shit mk2), which is basically a vaguely aircraft carrier shaped object. This is evident by the slant on the nose of the ship, which is a ramp that helps aircraft achieve flight. Modern cutting edge aircraft carriers utilize an on-deck catapult system to do this. This doesn't sound like a big distinction, but as far as aircraft carriers go, it's a sign of the logistical sophistication of the carrier. The Chinese have a single Carrier. It was manufactured by the Soviets (Because the Chinese are currently still too stupid to do it themselves), and it's a piece of shit that uses diesel engines and has pretty much none of the logistical features of a modern aircraft carrier. It is more accurate to say that it is an Aircraft carrier shaped object.

Even the Russian navy is shit. They have the Big Soviet Piece of Shit Mk1. The Admiral Kuznetsov. Which also is the only carrier in the entire Russian navy, and is also pathetic and infamous for constantly breaking down. There is a tugboat permanently attached to the vessel because it constantly needs to be towed back into port for repairs.

The Chinese economy is only strong because the CCP games the system like it's a pinball machine. This has served them well for awhile, and while I am not an economist, it is an untenable system which is going to catch up with them. Most of China's economy is based on real-estate development, arranged via collusion between local party members, and developers looking to seize property and develop vast housing complexes that are useless in practice because they are half finished shells which conform to very specific bureaucratic standards. I'm not splitting hairs on this - the law is written in china in a very specific way in which developers are compensated according to specific criteria like number of floors etc etc. For a more comprehensive view of this, read up on Chinese Ghost Cities.

Also China has a vast population of political prisoners which runs into the tens of millions of people. They stand accused of crimes of conscience (IE: Political dissention, religious practices etc etc). The most aggressively oppressed group are Falun Gong practitioners which was pretty much like "Spiritual Yoga" that got big during the 1980s, and 1990s. There was a massive crackdown under Jiang Zemin (who interestingly came to power by being the most violent opponent to the Tienanmen Square protests, and well, we all know how that worked out) where he created a group called the "610 Office" which is (literally) the Gestapo of the Chinese government. It is a group of "police" whose number of operatives runs into the millions, and has a budget comparable to Chinas national defense budget. They have become kind of a ceremonial vestige of power that CCP members use in their vicious blood thirsty game-of-thrones style murdering of political opponents. Here's their handiwork:

Also as a fun fact, the 610 Office provides political prisoners to Chinese military hospitals whereupon the prisoners are harvested for their organs. There's a reason why the wait lists for transplants in China are so short.

So basically OP is correct technically. If you are interested in a technologically backwards shithole, whose economy is being hollowed out by rampant bureaucratic corruption, with a congress who uses game of thrones as a how-to manual for governance, which is being crushed under the jackboot of a gestapo that murders politicians and tortures yoga practitioners to death, and has the most efficient organ farming industry on earth - Then China might be the place for you.

u/DeathTorturer · 4 pointsr/videos

Check out the references section of that article.

Reference 1 cites this report, run by "International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China", the organization running the China Tribunal. Falun Gong.

Reference 2 is a book authored by Ethan Gutmann, the author of the report above.

Reference 3 is this very documentary. (Edit: No it's not, never mind.)

Reference 4 requires account creation, which I can't be bothered doing now.

Reference 5 is just an article about new organ donation regulations.

Reference 6 cites David Kilgour and Ethan Gutmann, the authors of the first report.

... You get the picture. I know it seems crazy, but all the sources I've found on this topic ultimately lead back to Falun Gong.

u/Graham_Whellington · 3 pointsr/China

[](You need this book) and [](this book)

It is impossible to answer your question without understanding the "Century of Humiliation." A lot of that is still prevalent in modern China, and those two books will be some solid go-tos. Spence focuses on China; Kissinger discusses the United States.

Edit: I have no idea why it is not formatting correctly.

u/arickp · 3 pointsr/videos

>Would anybody be able to tell me what North Korea is like? Not as a western tourist, but as an average citizen, privileged and favored or not.

No, sorry. It really is the "hermit kingdom." The closest you can get is watching interviews with defectors on YouTube, this AMA or reading Nothing to Envy.

u/TubePanic · 3 pointsr/italy

> Sugli imprenditori però non sarei così tranchant.

Non credo - se non altro, perche' prima dei Padani ci sono i gli imprenditori Cinesi.

E il Grana Padano lo vendi male in un paese dove la gente qualche anno fa crepava di fame per le strade. Source: Nothing to Envy di Barbara Demick

u/karlth · 3 pointsr/worldnews
u/fuhko · 3 pointsr/needadvice

So I recently graduated with a 3.0 GPA with a Biology degree. I'm two months out and I've still been having a tough time finding a job. I wanted to go into research but lab jobs are scarce.

However, I have been taking some classes at my local community college and I discovered that there are some programs that are relatively cheap to get into. For example, getting certified as an EMT only costs a few thousand dollars or so. This is a lot but if you save up, you might be able to afford it.

Basically if you can't get a job in your field, look into getting retrained cheaply, either in Community College or trade school or even military. You may not necessarily want to do this immediately but think about it.

And I absolutely second JBlitzen's advice:

> It would be beneficial, though, for you to start asking yourself what value you intend to create for others. And how your current path will help you to do so.

Essentially, figure out a plan on what you want to do with your current skills. Next, figure out a backup plan if it goes bad.

It definitely sucks to graduate knowing that you didn't do so well in college. I feel for you man, I'm pretty much in the same spot. Don't give up, don't get discouraged, lots of people have been in worse situations and have come out OK. Just read the book Scratch Beginnings or Nothing to Envy. In both stories, the protagnoists succeed in overcoming incredible odds to live a good life.

Figure out what your dreams are and keep going after them. I believe you can reach them. And no, I'm not just saying that.


Also, network! Get to know your teachers and make sure they like you so you have references!!! Show interest in your classes this last semester. You have no idea how important personal references are. Better yet, ask your teachers if they know of any jobs or have any job advice.

All job searching is personal. Employers want to hire people they know will do a good job. Hence the need for personal connections or references (At least someone though this guy was competent.) or demonstrating interest in a particular position. You're still in school so you still have a solid amount of opportunities to network.

Also, some hepful links

u/rawketscience · 3 pointsr/northkorea

I think the first point to consider is that The Orphan Master's Son should be read as a domestic drama, more along the lines of Nothing to Envy than any of the foreign-policy focused news and zomg-weird-pop-performance-footage that dominates this subreddit and /r/northkoreanews.

In that light, the Orphan Master's Son is a lovely, well-told story, and it was well-researched, but it's still clearly a second-hand impression of the country. It doesn't add to the outside world's stock of DPRK information; it just retells the tragedies already told by Shin Dong-hyuk and Kenji Fujimoto in a literary style.

Then too, there are places where the needs of the story subsume the reality on the ground. For example, the book entertains the notion that the state would promote just individual one actress its paragon of female virtue and one individual soldier as the paragon of male virtue. This is important to author's point about public and private identity and whether love also needs truth, but it's wholly out of step with the Kim regime's way of doing business. Kim Il Sung is the one god in North Korea, and the only permissible icons are his successors, and to a lesser extent, senior party politicians. Pop figures are disposable.

But The Orphan Master's Son is a good read. It would go high on my list of recommendations for someone who wants a starting point on the country but is scared of footnotes and foreign names. But if your DPRK obsession hinges more on predicting the fate of the Kaesong Industrial Zone, it won't give you much.

u/Triplanetary · 3 pointsr/socialism

>How does society deal with 50% unemployment? Do jobs themselves become goods or commodities?

There is precedent for this: North Korea. I read this book about day-to-day life in North Korea, and jobs do indeed end up getting traded and bartered between people. Obviously this is illegal, but it's a desperate situation there and people will take risks, not to mention the rampant bribery (since the officials themselves are often equally desperate).

u/Poulol · 3 pointsr/worldnews

They know plenty but trying to leave the country or having external media is illegal. It's not that easy for them to even escape because their families will be punished for it.

If you are interested in more North Korean Life I recommend this book

u/thelawsmithy · 3 pointsr/ColinsLastStand

For more, read: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea


Fascinating insight into the country.

u/jombiezebus · 3 pointsr/ChineseHistory

This is not biographical, but for anyone interested in the period, The Search For Modern China is worth mentioning.

u/FraudianSlip · 3 pointsr/ChineseHistory

Well, the Cambridge History of China is a great resource, but I don't know if you can find that in eBook form or not. Those tomes cover just about everything you'd need.

If you're interested in modern Chinese history, The Search for Modern China is an excellent book.

For the Song dynasty: The Age of Confucian Rule, and Daily Life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion. Just remember that the books can't cover everything, so occasionally they oversimply - particularly Kuhn's book and its overemphasis on Confucianism.

Oh, and one more recommendation for now: the Shi Ji (Records of the Grand Historian).

u/prappedtrisoner · 3 pointsr/polandball

I just finished reading this book on Chinese history and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a primer on the subject. One interesting fact that could be used by u/Kimiimar0 in the next version is that the voyages (all of them) were led by a Palace Eunuch called Zheng He who became a part of the bureaucracy after being captured from his native place in South-Eastern China, being castrated and being packed off to Beijing as a 11 year old.

u/kodheaven · 3 pointsr/IntellectualDarkWeb

Submission Statement: Probably most of us think of Japan as a modern, advanced country with a rich culture... Many may also think about manga, anime or video games. It’s likely that most of us have a very positive image of the Land of the Rising Sun. So much so that if they ask us about their history, we’ll mostly think about Geishas, ​​Samurai and perhaps the United States’ double nuclear attack. Perhaps we’ll think about Pearl Harbor. But do we really know how the Japanese Empire was? Do you know exactly what this meant for the Far East? Why do you think that the countries that Japan victimized, such as China and Korea, are still very sensitive about this issue?

Folks, during the decades of the 30s and 40s the Japanese Empire perpetrated some of the greatest atrocities in history against the life and dignity of human beings.

Related Recommended book by Jordan Peterson: The Rape of Nanking.

u/CivilBrocedure · 3 pointsr/booksuggestions

"The Rape of Nanking" by Iris Chang. I had always known that the Japanese were ruthless during the 30s-40s, but this book was a tremendous eye opener on the absolute lawless bloodthirst of that era. A complete collapse of anything even resembling humanity.

u/dasreboot · 3 pointsr/todayilearned

dont forget, the japanese killed more people per hour then the germans managed at auswitz. They did it mostly with sword and bayonet.

source the rape of nanking

u/desertmystic · 3 pointsr/history

In 2008 Meir Shahar, from Tel Aviv University published a fantastic book on exactly what you're interested in.

There's also Peter Lorge's book (history prof at Vanderbilt), Chinese Martial Arts, an overall history of the subject to which Shaolin is pertinent but tangential.

Most everything written on the subject is hagiography, but the above two are works of history, if that's what you're looking for.

u/3DimenZ · 3 pointsr/chan

Hmm yes, the comparison you made is between a collection of discourses from Master Huangbo and a collection of Koans and stories. I can recommend really any more discourse oriented Chan teachings ranging from Master Foyan's "Instant Zen" to the recorded sayings of Master Linji. The Recorded sayings of Master Linji also include some interactions and stories, but also some clear discourses from the Master... the same with the Recorded sayings of Master Zhaozhou, which is mostly interactions and some discourses. Another one that you might find interesting is "Ch’an Master Hui Hai- Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening" or The Letters of Chan Master Dahui Pujue.... but really, reading those discourses and not doing the practice won't be very helpful... hence the 'clear discourses' are rather rare since you should penetrate it yourself directly and not have it chewed out by those old grandmothers

u/DenjinJ · 3 pointsr/YouShouldKnow

Lots, if you know where to look. I've had this book for 15-20 years now and it's about the same thing.

u/BadEgo · 3 pointsr/DebateCommunism

Lol, I totally understand. Still, I think there's considerable value in his works, particularly from the 80s. When he's working to synthesize the experience of socialism and advance its theory, it's pretty good stuff. When he's trying to convince people he's the only hope for the world, not so much.

Some other sources I've found useful:

A World to Win magazine had a number of important articles which are well worth digging into.

Corrigan, Philip, Harvie Ramsay, and Derek Sayer. 1979. For Mao: Essays on Historical Materialism. Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: Humanities Press.

Starr, John Bryan. 1979. Continuing the Revolution: The Political Thought of Mao. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

(These are from academics and focus more on the theoretical aspects. They're the best academic works I know of on Mao though and are very nice overviews.)

Another academic work which has an excellent chapter on Mao (though the bulk of it deals with other aspects) is Martin, Bill. 2008. Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation. Open Court.

Badiou has a nice analysis of the GPCR in Badiou, Alain. 2008. The Communist Hypothesis. Verso.

(Some journalistic/historical accounts of Maoism in practice/development in China):

Belden, Jack. 1949. China Shakes the World. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Han Suyin. 1976. Wind in the Tower: Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese Revolution, 1948-1975. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

Hinton, William. 1966. Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village. New York:

Horn, Joshua S. 1969. Away with All Pests: An English Surgeon in People’s China, 1954-1969. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Hunter, Iris. 1986. They Made Revolution Within the Revolution: The Story of China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Chicago: RCP Publications.

Milton, David and Nancy Dall Milton. 1971. The Wind Will Not Subside. New York: Pantheon.

Myrdal, Jan. 1965. Report from a Chinese Village. New York: Signet.

Finally, Li Onesto has good book on the Nepalese revolution which unfortunately was betrayed by the leadership.

u/spendel · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Showing people (mostly in the West because they are never taught it in school) the Japanese atrocities of the Chinese in WW2.

Recommended reading, Rape of Nanking.

u/ReRo27 · 2 pointsr/IRstudies

Amazon got the hook up, as always


u/Yep123456789 · 2 pointsr/worldnews

Would probably read this one first to get some general background. It’s a lighter read:

Perhaps the most authoritative reading on Deng specifically:

Another good one (more about international relations):

This is a good one if you want to learn about the economic reforms under Deng:

u/the_georgetown_elite · 2 pointsr/IRstudies

I recommend another Henry Kissinger book, since you liked that one. Try On China. It's about China, and Kissinger knows it well since he and Nixon were the architects for the sudden U.S. surprise opening to China in the middle of the Cold War.

u/K1774B · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

I've seen both documentaries mentioned above. Both are excellent.

If you have Netflix instant check out "National Geographic's Inside: North Korea." as well as "Seoul Train".

The latter isn't a joke and is probably the best documentary about NK on Netflix instant.
I just finished this book:

Its an excellent read into the daily lives of NK citizens told from the perspective of defectors.

Also HIGHLY recommended is this book:

It's not specifically about NK but Dom Jolly (Trigger Happy TV) travels there in this fantastic book. He offers a different, hilarious take on his experience in "The DPRK".

u/michigan85 · 2 pointsr/pics

Someone recommended this book to me about a month ago in /r/books . Just got it in the mail the other day. As soon as I finish up the book I'm reading now, I'll tackle this one.

u/officialjesus · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

if you're okay with pretty modern history, I recommend North Korea. the secretiveness about the country is fascinating.

For documentaries, i recommend National Geographic: Inside North Korea. there's also the Vice Guide to North Korea and I also personally like their documentary on North Korean work camps inside Russia. If you have netflix, there's also Kimjongilia and Crossing the Line.

As for books, I really liked Nothing to Envy:Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick. It talks about the lives of several defectors mainly during the famine in the 90s and also talks about how their lives are now in South Korea. Right now i'm reading Escape from Camp 14
which is about a guy who escaped from one of North Korea's many prison camps.

With a lot of recent events, I think it's important to understand the history of the country. also, Korea under Japanese rule might be interesting to.

Good Luck :)

EDIT: spelling

u/juliebeen · 2 pointsr/books

Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy is awesome.

One of my favorite non-fiction books.

u/DiKetian · 2 pointsr/books

One of the best ones I've read recently was Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick. It's amazing to see actual real life inside North Korea how people live and die, and why they defect (including one middle-aged woman who was practically tricked by her daughter into defecting).

u/skeeterbitten · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Botany of Desire. The title turned me off, but it's actually really interesting and my whole family has read and enjoyed it.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary lives in North Korea Serious stuff, but so fascinating.

Stumbling on Happiness. Fun read on human nature and happiness.

u/MrPisster · 2 pointsr/worldnews

"Nothing to Envy"

Good read if your into that stuff.

Also "Escape from Camp 14"

That one is less about ordinary citizen's lives and more about the modern day concentration camps the North Korean government is controlling.

u/Liquidator47 · 2 pointsr/pics

Ok fine, but where's even that coming from?

After reading this I don't assume that it could be easy.

u/jejuislander · 2 pointsr/korea

Upvote for this. The excellent Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick deals with this issue towards the end of the book. A good read.

u/inkWanderer · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

If you're looking for a more in-depth work, there's a fantastic book about six North Korean refugees who are mostly rehabilitated in Seoul now. Here's the link; I highly recommend it.

u/NigelLeisure · 2 pointsr/History_Bookclub

If you're looking for a book on life in NK I'd recommend Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea.

u/Both_Of_Me · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon
u/Entropian · 2 pointsr/unpopularopinion

19th century is not today, and yet Hong Kong is a problem right now. The British signed 99-year ease for Hong Kong in 1898, thinking that 99 years basically means forever. Then in the 1980s, the Chinese actually came to the British with receipts, demanding Hong Kong back. Politics outlast people's lives. History outlasts people's lives.

Just because the CCP is fucking terrible doesn't mean that the opium wars were fake, and that everything the West did in China back then was hunky dory. There's a clear through line from Western imperialism to the collapse of Qing in 1911. Read a history book written by a British person if you so choose.

I can laugh at the West without condoning what the CCP is doing. It's possible.

u/pustak · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

I would go with Jonathan Spence's Search for Modern China for, well, modern China.

For a good basic though not comprehensive read on American Indians maybe Daniel Richter's Facing East from Indian Country. For a taste of more modern, survival oriented Indian history I think I'd point people to James Clifford's chapter (in The Predicament of Culture) on the Mashpee Indian land suit in the 1970's.

u/Whitegook · 2 pointsr/China

To be fair there's some truth in what you are saying. Tibet was a tribute nation to various dynasties since something like the 14th century, however I don't think any of them directly controlled Tibet - and they especially did not control the Tibetan Buddhist religious organization (for better or worse). It was more like frequent symbolic gift giving and emperors asking lamas sometimes to give off good impressions to their people other times as a way to show face while receiving gifts. Source

u/thenwhatissoylentred · 2 pointsr/China

you should read some books! jonathan spence's search for modern china is a good broad introduction.

u/ScholarsStage · 2 pointsr/ChineseHistory

A book I would recommend looking at is Jonathan Spence's The Search For Modern China *, which is one of the best and most readable books that touches on every question you've asked. You can follow its foot notes for more material citations

u/mtaw · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

Many causes. First, anti-Qing sentiment. The Qing were never beloved, as they were foreign invaders and viewed as usurpers to the throne. Although the Qing had become quite sinised by the 19th century (e.g. few of the bannermen spoke Manchu anymore), the Chinese were still reminded of this daily, such as in being force to have their hair in a queue. The Chinese had been forced to wear this Manchu hairstyle since 1644 as a sign of submission to Manchu rule. Secret societies like the Tiandihui existed, with an agenda to reinstate the Ming dynasty. (in reality this never seems to have made the top of their to-do list, but the ambition itself is witness to the anti-Qing sentiment).

Losing the first Opium War did of course not help. There was naturally outrage at this loss and the terms the Qing had accepted, accompanied by the loss of military strength, social upheavals and unrest, and the scourge of opium of course. Another factor Spence points out here is the westerners had used their naval power to drive the pirates away (threat to their trade after all), which pushed many of them to move to inland banditry, not least to the mountains of Guangxi, which is where the rebellion got started.

There was of course the introduction of radical new Christian ideas, aided not least by the free movement of missionaries being allowed by the peace treaty after the war. Although the contemporary Buddhist-Taoist tract the Jade Record seems to have had some influence on Hong Xiuquan as well.

It also had great populist appeal: They went against the authorities, against Confucianism, against the nobility. They promised a kind of proto-socialist redistribution of land and property. In short they targeted the disenfranchised and promised them a better future with better opportunities in the 'Heavenly Kingdom'.

Then, as Warband14 points out, there was a significant ethnic dimension as well. Hong Xiuquan was a Hakka, and the movement first caught on among that ethnic group. Elements of the Taiping doctrine - a ban on foot-binding, women workers and soldiers - likely came from Hakka custom (their women worked, they never practiced foot-binding). It might be pointed out that although they were indeed outsiders and lower in status than Han chinese, they still had a related language and weren't outsiders to the extent, say, the Miao were.

The Taiping relations with western natiosn were a bit ambivalent. Dissatisfaction with the Opium War was after all one of their recruiting points, but Hong obviously had an belief (of his own making) and respect for Christianity. This did not come to him through the British though; his main sources had been a Christian tract by Liang Fa and Gützlaff's bible translation. (which Hong later was to make his own changes to, removing some things he must have found disagreeable, such as Noah getting drunk - the Taiping had banned alcohol and opium) His bible instruction came from the American Baptist missionary Issachar Roberts, who later became one of the westerners advocating in favor of the Taiping - until he eventually fell out with them. Not least over the heterodox (to say the least) theology of the Taiping.

For most of its existence after the capture of Nanjing, the 'Heavenly Kingdom' was in a stalemate with the Qing. The Taiping's offensive campaigns (among others, north towards Beijing) had failed, but so did the Qing's. During that period they made repeated failed attempts to secure the westerners as allies, or at least their neutrality. Hong made a particularily fanciful attempt to recruit the 8th Lord Elgin, as he passed Nanjing (in a more well-known incident, Elgin was soon to burn the Summer Palace in Beijing)

Their last major offense was towards Shanghai. The western nations saw this as a threat to their trade and the international settlement (despite the Taiping's best attempts to reassure them that they and their property woudl not be harmed). But the westerners defended Shanghai, and you had the formation of the Ever Victorious Army and French Ever Triumphant Army, now taking an active role in fighting the Taiping. It was all downhill from there.

Again as Warband14 wrote, besides the devastation and millions killed, the Taiping rebellion was a significant factor in the demise of the Qing empire.

It does also play a certain role in Chinese Communist historiography. Regarding those populist demands for redistribution of land, Marx himself related a story from the translator of Hong's bible, Gützlaff:

> When Herr Gützlaff came back among civilized people and Europeans after twenty years' absence, he heard talk of socialism and asked what it was. When he was told, he exclaimed in alarm: 'Am I nowhere to escape this ruinous doctrine? Precisely the same thing has been preached for some time in China by many people from the mob.'

This was in 1850, at the very start of the Taiping Rebellion, and while Marx noted that "Chinese socialism may, of course, bear the same relation to European socialism as Chinese to Hegelian philosophy.", and found it amusing that the western bourgoise had helped precipitate such a revolution, he expressed hopes for it as a 'socialist' revolution. (not unlike how other westerners projected their hopes for a Christian China onto them)

Marx did not write a great deal about them, but by 1862 he had apparently become as disillusioned with them as those hoping for a Christian revolution. He wrote:

> They represent a still greater torment for the masses of the people than for the old rulers. Their motive seems to be nothing else than to bring into play against the conservative marasmus grotesquely repulsive forms of destruction, destruction without any germ of regeneration.

Marx's view of the Taiping is understandably, not that dissimilar from that taken by the Chinese Communists themselves, although the latter are perhaps less condemnatory.

u/arkansas_travler · 2 pointsr/history

While the bot is trying to be helpful, there's no book on the Taiping Rebellion on that list. Try this. Jonathan Spence is a very well know historian of China and is very readable. Enjoy!

u/Taidoboy · 2 pointsr/China

Honestly. Check this out.

If you want literature, I really like these books:

Check out Fairbank, it's amazing.
Or maybe: John Keay
Or try: Ying-Shih Yü

Or alternatively, google it (see first link). If you don't want to pay for any of these books just check your local library (-Genesis). I wouldn't call you out for torrenting/DLing them, since that would make me a hypocrite.

u/turdpater · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

I'm reading a history of China that suggests that stone was not as available in the near east compared to Europe.

He talks at length about how prevalent packed mud bricks are in construction and much less durable over the centuries it is compared to stone even if it is a perfectly reasonable building material over the short or new term.

u/hobbes305 · 2 pointsr/news

>The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, by Iris Chang (2012)

u/master_dong · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Read "The Rape of Nanking"... it goes into great detail about the psychology of the Japanese during the period.

u/ottoseesotto · 2 pointsr/JordanPeterson

This isn't exactly what you're after, but I have this in my queue thanks to Peterson's Book list.

"Rape of Nanking"

u/bannana · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

The Rape of Nanking seems fairly easy Here and Here, though I don't know about the Soldiers of the Sun

edit: also available
I will say my library doesn't have Soldiers of the Sun but does have Rape of Nanking.

u/Boredeidanmark · 2 pointsr/worldnews

Try this

It’s not about just the Bolsheviks, but this was a fascinating book on the vast murder that took place in Eastern Europe in the 30s and 40s. Wash it down with something happy, I made the mistake of reading it back-to-back with this and became pretty depressed for a few weeks.

u/Tootenbacher · 2 pointsr/The_Donald

I've just ordered Christopher Browning's Ordinary Men: Amazon

The Rape of Nanking: Amazon

FYI, I just provided links so you could look them up quickly - I don't have any Amazon affiliation or anything.

I should have waited to finalize my order, because now I want to buy the book you mentioned as well.

u/Adultophobe · 2 pointsr/HistoryPorn

There was another version with that title printed years ago, but the one I'm referring to is this one published in 2012.

It's pretty eye-opening.

u/xingfenzhen · 2 pointsr/Sino


The classic Fairbanks book, China: a New History for overview.

The always classic, Cambridge Illustrated History of China for reference. Though the real reference is the completely 12 volumes of The Cambridge History of China, which is not for the faint of heart. At that point, you might as learn Chinese and read The Comprehensive Mirror yourself.

For an aspiring historian
China: A Macro Hisotry


For old pre-revolutionary China, My Country and My People by Lin Yutang

For modern China, you're better off watching TV dramas. I recommend Ode to Joy as a start.

u/Marxistpessimist · 2 pointsr/videos

Hi. Meisner's "Mao's China and After" is a good place to start.

if you searched for a free pdf it would probably be easy to find

u/jotaroh · 2 pointsr/japan

>but the causes of the famine were very complex

Actually it was not that complex. Mao didn't care all that much about the peasants.

Frank Dikotter's book Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe lays it out pretty clearly.

For instance Mao continued the policy of international grain exports while he knew full well that there were millions starving.

Mao was quoted as saying in Shanghai in 1959: “When there is not enough to eat people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.”

u/DEAD_P1XL · 2 pointsr/mildlyinteresting

Kind of looks like Kanji Pict-o-Grafix by Michael Rowley. They have one for Kana as well. Very useful for beginners.

u/gramie · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

There's a book, called Pict-o-grafix that does the same thing for over 1,000 kanji.

u/mystimel · 2 pointsr/japan

I really loved this book: Kanji Pict-o-Graphix

I'm a very visual learner. This book isn't perfect, but it helps a lot with recognition and memorizing kanji that are related to each other.

u/rudster · 2 pointsr/videos

Yep, and there's already a book that's exactly her idea, for about 1000 Kanji:


But I agree, once you get past a few dozen easy ones, something like Heisig's idea is going to be much easier (and in any case the more absurd & obscene the story you create is, the easier to remember)

u/diehard1972 · 2 pointsr/Conservative

Thank you.

I would suggest one book that you might find interesting. Actually gets into the programs and highlights Asia, where there are now 160 million or so missing females.

Do you have a link to the Agenda 21 info?

u/SploonTheDude · 2 pointsr/worldnews

The government from Tiananmen is still in power today.

And for a small "cult" of peaceful meditation they certainly managed to convince a lot of people.

That's quite impressive considering the powerhouse of propaganda China is.

>even when Hong Kong had the umberalla movement which called for democracy and independence etc. no military or tanks rolled in, it was all Hong Kong police, same as occupy wall st. Deng Xiao ping is long dead.

The PRC would never have been dumb enough to invade a former british territory and murder them with so many US and British allies in the region, they would have started a bloody war that they would not have won.

> But keep spouting those talking points from decades ago.

Which is ironic considering....

>Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria etc

Iraq is already recovering and is relatively stable now, Libya was France and the UK as well, Yemen is solely Saudi Arabian interest and the US had no part in instigating the conflict and the US' involvement in Syria was limited to financing the FSA in 2011-12 and then supporting a secular democratic faction that hasn't attacked the government.

>44,000 bombs a year in 8 countries CURRENTLY

Mostly on DAESH, and the US doesn't bomb Yemen they sell weapons to the people who do nor is the US still involved in Libya. Sure there are civilians casualties like in Raqqa or Mosul but that is a sad result of war against genocidal maniacs.

>How many of those other UN countries is doing that right now?

R U S S I A.

Oh and France but they didn't do a very good job.

u/moto_eddy · 2 pointsr/sanfrancisco

> This is from 2006, and has since been debunked. Obviously a state guided tour isn't going to expose any wrong doing, they did the exact same thing for the "reeducation camps", and plenty of footage and first hand reports has debunked the CCP...This is after the CCP initially lied about these camps.

What has been debunked? Obviously? How convenient.

> Wiki is a great place to start.

This IS a great place to start. Wikipedia states:

>Reports on systematic organ harvesting from Falun Gong prisoners first emerged in 2006, though the practice is thought by some to have started six years earlier. Several researchers—most notably Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas, former parliamentarian David Kilgour and investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann—estimate that tens of thousands of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience have been killed to supply a lucrative trade in human organs and cadavers and that these abuses may be ongoing.[2] These conclusions are based on a combination of statistical analysis; interviews with former prisoners, medical authorities and public security agents; and circumstantial evidence, such as the large number of Falun Gong practitioners detained extrajudicially in China and the profits to be made from selling organs.

The citation is from a book not a real academic paper - a book that is sold for profit. Is what is in bold enough to convince you? Eyewitness testimony from mostly FG members who have a self-interest to lie and a so-called statistical analysis from a lawyer and a journalist making money from a book?

Forgive my skepticism but it’s literally the same type of “research” that was used in debunked works like “the Black book of communism” which is a pseudo-history book - 2/3 of the authors have since denounced. This type of propaganda: “statistical analysis” and eyewitness testimony has been used by western countries against countries that dissent against them since the early 1900s and so much of it has turned out to be false (20-100 million killed, rape dungeons in the USSR, various executions and crimes committed by NK and China). It’s always the same process. Never any hard evidence like say the holocaust or the 200k civilians killed by US supported South Korea’s bodo league massacre. It literally is always a "statistical analysis and eyewitness testimony".

>What are you talking about? There are tons of videos, are you even trying. mobsters beating people

What is it you think you see here? I see civilians attacking other civilians and a lot of chaos. It is really hard to see what is happening here or understand what is going on. I think it is important not to wrap preconceived narratives around what you are seeing. But lets say they are pro-Chinese civilians beating random civilians on a subway train. How does that mean that they are triads hired by the police?

>police sexual assault

The video does not seem to play in Chrome or Safari.

>and? Look at the twitter source...hilarious.

read it. The guy provides sources and it is organized well. Is that what you do? Attack the messenger so you only ingest news that supports your understanding of the world?

>Surely the US does not fund a handful of other things all over the world... UNHEARD OF

They are literally funded by the United States Department of State. You honestly believe that they give a shit about people in Hong Kong at all? I mean, the same country launched the middle east into never ending turmoil killing hundreds of thousands of people and launching them into a cycle of never ending poverty so much so that there are massive protests going on in Iraq right now against massive corruption and authoritarianism, social media shutdowns, and it hardly gets a fraction of the media coverage. It is everything you want to be true about China confirmed. Not a single confirmed death in the HK protests but 100s reported dead protesting in Iraq and I barely see a peep anywhere about it. Where are the protests here in SF in support of those people? Why aren't you campaigning on their behalf?

>It's a bit odd that you have posted blatantly biased links from the CCP, with little to no evidence behind any of them.

Why? Why wouldn't you read both sides? I do. Not doing so would be living in an echo chamber. FFS this is basic when trying to understand the world. You really don't think western media is insanely biased and often just fabricated? There are so many documented cases. But you just blindly trust one side?

>Hell, a wikipedia search or google search of half of them debunk whatever crazy conspiracy theories there are.

Oh neat words. I googled everything you said and it also debunks whatever you say. This is fun.

>Please review my videos and links from multiple sources

You clearly didn't read any of mine. Besides, I am embedded in your side - I am an American living in SF exposed to western media. You are just selling the same story that everyone else is here. Remember those weapons of mass destruction? Any day now.

>also fake protestor:

LOL and you criticize my twitter source? Its just a photo that expects you to believe some narrative. I bet this time we will find the Boston bomber for sure!

u/PandaBearShenyu · 2 pointsr/worldnews

China wasn't strong in any way except in terms of ground military defense until starting in like the early-mid 1990s.

Also, you have to have read some pretty fucked up history books to think China, which had 2000 troops that were nowhere within 2000KM of a resupply line on the other side of the biggest mountainrange in the world, would start a war with India. India started the Sino Indian war and got its ass wrecked, to save face they keep trying to convince themselves China attacked them out of the blue. It's embarassing really, and makes me question your insinuation that Pakistan started the wars with India.

British Imperialism in China and Tibet is central understanding the 1962 India-China Border War.

>Between 1903 to 1947, "Christian" Britain imperialists invaded Tibet, massacred 2,000 to 3,000 Tibetans with machine guns, plundered a lot of its national treasures, and stole it as a colony. This was possible because British "gentlemen" waged two illegal Opium Wars against China to deal illegal drugs (opium. The British used Tibet as a buffer state to protect their other colony, India. To gain public approval of these anti-human actions, Britain selectively crafted a mythical image of Tibet (even though it’s a feudal theocracy where 95% of the population are serfs) in contrast to a tumultuous China (a turmoil caused DIRECTLY by white imperialists including Britain, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, America, Sweden, Norway, Italy, the Dutch, Austria-Hungarian empire, Belgium, and Russia. Also, Imperial Japan.

>In 1914, the British drew the McMahon Line, which has a very confusing history but has created on-going tensions between Tibet, India, and China.

>● In 1914, the "Christian" British representative, Henry McMahon drew a MacMahon line with Tibetan local authority that gifted 90 thousand square kilometers of land from China (south eastern border) to India. This is Chinese land being reassigned without permission of the Chinese government. IT's illegal and invalid.

>● In 1960, Chinese premier Zhou en lai tried to peacefully resolve the border dispute with Indian premier Nehru, but India refused any reasonable proposal from China.

>● In 1962, India military troops stirred up conflicts on the border, but was defeated by China's military.

>A Brief History of the Sino-Indian Border Dispute and the role of Tibet

>“Q: What in your opinion were the policies, on both sides, that brought about the basic quarrel over the border?

>Neville Maxwell(author): As far as the McMahon Line was concerned India inherited the dispute with China, which the British had created in the mid-1930s by seizing the Tibetan territory they re-named NEFA. The PRC government was prepared to accept that border alignment but insisted that it be re-negotiated, that is put through the usual diplomatic process, to wipe out its imperialist origins. Nehru refused, using London's false claim that the Simla Conference had already legitimised the McMahon Line to back up that refusal — that was his Himalayan blunder. Then in 1954 he compounded that mistake by laying cartographic claim to a swathe of territory in the north-west, the Aksai Chin, a claim which was beyond anything the British had ever claimed and on an area which Chinese governments had treated as their own for at least a hundred years. To make matters worse, he ruled that there should be no negotiation over that claim either! So Indian policy had created a border dispute and also ruled out the only way it could peacefully be settled, through diplomatic negotiation.”

>It wasn't China, but Nehru who declared 1962 war: Australian journalist Neville Maxwell

>“NEW DELHI: In a marked U-turn from the earlier stand taken by BJP, the Modi government has firmly ruled out the release of the classified Henderson Brooks report into India's humiliating military debacle against China in 1962.”
“The Henderson Brooks report squarely blames the then Jawarharlal Nehru government's ill-conceived and ill-timed "Forward Policy", without proper intelligence or adequate military preparation, for India's abject defeat in 1962.”

>In U-turn, Modi govt rules out release of Henderson Brooks report

>“This book shows how much we can be misled by the media
London TIMES reporter Nevile Maxwell wrote this book solely based on the declassified documents from India's Defense Department. It shows how India's prime minister Mr. Nehru launched the "northern advance" policy disregard the historical evidence were all against India's claim. The war started by Indian army firing upon the Chinese border garrison force and ended up with India's humiliating total defeat. But ironically, we in the West always believed that Chinese, instead of India, was the aggressor.”

India's China War

u/adjopa · 1 pointr/

Try reading the Rape of Nanking sometime. Firecrackers in women's vaginas post-rape, forcing fathers to rape daughters, decapitation contests, it's all here

u/mpyne · 1 pointr/pics

I'm glad to see someone was handling the troll. It's a pretty rich argument though, America cuts off oil supplies to the Empire of Japan due to their wars of aggression in the Pacific, and it's the U.S.'s fault that Japan counter-strikes in a coward attack?

On the topic of learning though, The Rape of Nanking is a horrifying description of some of the events of the Nanking Massacre perpetuated by the Imperial Japanese Army in China. The author of the book would later commit suicide.

The Nanking Massacre started in 1937, years before the U.S. supposed forced the Empire of Japan to attack...

u/yugias · 1 pointr/ColinsLastStand

Let's get it started then. What would you be interested in reading? I have some options on my reading list, maybe you are interested. If not, you can also suggest some titles and then we can decide.

  • On China, Henry Kissinger I read his book on world order a couple of weeks ago and I enjoyed it a lot. He played a major role in reestablishing diplomatic relations with China, so I think this might turn out to be an interesting read.
  • The Glorious Cause, Robert Middlekauff This US history book spans the period prior to the independence up to it's aftermath (1763-1789). Chronologically speaking, it is the first book in the Oxford series on the history of the United States. I have heard great things about this series, in particular McPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom. I plan to read the whole series little by little.
  • The Global Minotaur, Yanis Varoufakis I learned about this book by reading his more recent book And the Weak Suffer What They Must?. This is more of a history of political economy, and covers the period from the end of WWII to the 2008 crisis. As far as I know, Global Minotaur covers the same period as the book I read but focuses more on the US than Europe. I'm not an economist, so there are some things I wasn't able to understand, but for the most part I had no problem at all and enjoyed it quite a bit.

  • Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell I learned about this book reading a collection of essays by Chomsky entitled on Anarchism. Here, Chomsky talks about some rare "truly socialist" movement that appeared in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. This movement was crushed by both Franco's military coup and the Soviet army. Orwell fought there and this book narrates his experience. Given the great experience I had reading 1984, I think this could be a very interesting read.

  • The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand I have hear many things for and against this author, but I have never read it. I have also heard that this book is better from a literary standpoint than Atlas Shrugged, and also was written earlier, so this could be a good starting point.
u/immay · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

On China by Kissinger is a very good read. It is much more detailed after about 1900 and especially after 1949, but the other parts are all good too. He just tends to boil down empires and dynasties into a few key themes to avoid boring the nonacademic reader with repetitive and insignificant details

I think the best two parts of the book are 1. He condenses a lot of the drier information without completely discounting it and 2. He was there for a lot of it and can give a unique perspective on what it was like to work with many of the CCP leaders.

u/x0vash0x · 1 pointr/China

On China by Henry Kissinger is the first book to start out with.

I don't know any real comparative political approaches, but another book that outlines the general Western Thinking at that time, like /u/imaspacesuit suggested, is End of History and the Last Man. Realize that End of History was originally written in 1992 and it outlines the neoliberal perspective of the late 1980's and early 1990's after the fall of the Soviet Union:

>What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

The whole existential threat that the neoliberal world order is trying to wrestle with is whether China proving this thesis wrong, or does it just need more time, or does it need to be forced or coerced to realize the end of history?

Edit: The Wikipedia links a good article from 2008 from Fukuyama which talks about China.

>Not so fast. We are certainly moving into what Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria labels a "post-American" world. But while bullies can still throw their weight around, democracy and capitalism still have no real competitors. The facile historical analogies to earlier eras have two problems: They presuppose a cartoonish view of international politics during these previous periods, and they imply that "authoritarian government" constitutes a clearly defined type of regime -- one that's aggressive abroad, abusive at home and inevitably dangerous to world order. In fact, today's authoritarian governments have little in common, save their lack of democratic institutions. Few have the combination of brawn, cohesion and ideas required to truly dominate the global system, and none dream of overthrowing the globalized economy.

This is what scares so many today: China could potentially dominate and overthrow the globalized economy and world order. The more time goes on, the more strength China gets, and the more brawn, cohesion and ideas required to truly dominate the global system, and might dream of overthrowing the globalized economy.

u/compstomper · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

from kissinger's on china, Maoism was predicated on the idea of 'constant revolution.' However, people realized that continual political upheaval was....unproductive, and stopped at 1.

u/NewMaxx · 1 pointr/worldnews

I completely agree that public perception played an important role, and in fact I think a large part of my point is that popularity plays too large a role. I also agree that he is demonized far more than he deserves on many issues. I learned a lot from reading his books, in particular On China, which helps reveal his mindset a lot better (and helps humanize him and his situation).

u/HakanAzeri · 1 pointr/China

As a Sinology graduate, I thoroughly recommend anything by Frank Dikotter.

He's essentially one of the leading authorities on the PRC's history.

Another recommendation would be Yang Jisheng's excellent investigative work, "Tombstone":

So far, the only non-horrifically biased media work that I can think of that portrays China during WWII would be 《南京!南京!》by Lu Chuan.

u/rcmurphy · 1 pointr/books

Red Sorghum by Mo Yan - brutal Marquez-esque magical realism during WWII-era China.

Captains of the Sands by Jorge Amado - a gang of children and adolescents run rampant on the streets of Bahia, Brazil.

Paprika by Yasutaka Tsutsui - a really odd novel involving machines that can invade people's dreams. Very weird and fun.

Tombstone by Yeng Jisheng - the most thorough and brutal account you'll ever read of the Chinese Famine of 1958-62. Much talk of cannibalism and insect-nutrition charts.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Matsuo Basho - it's both a collection of haiku by one of the medium's acknowledged masters and an idiosyncratic travel narrative of 1600s Japan.

Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - a great first Marquez to recommend to people who don't yet want to take the One Hundred Years of Solitude plunge.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami - one of the few books I've read more than twice.

The Notebook, The Proof, and The Third Lie by Agota Kristof - a trilogy of short novels about distance and isolation in Europe during and after World War II. The three books form a narrative that contradicts itself, doubles back and retells events, and generally messes with your head until you're not sure what to believe.

Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino - my favorite of Calvino's works. This is a collection of short stories about and narrated by heavenly bodies, mathematical formulae, supreme beings. They're basically cosmic fairy tales.

u/thrillmatic · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

The Mao system resulted in a genocide of a generation of peasants.

u/chiliman411 · 1 pointr/SargonofAkkad

During the great Chinese famine, China did the opposite of this. They would send farmers to dig canals and trenches, or to go work in steel mills, resulting in a loss of food production.

This will not have a positive effect. Sending people that have no knowledge of farming to work farms will be minimally efficient. While also reducing the efficiency of the industries that these people already have a specific skill set for. Even if the government instructs people on how to work the farms, odds are the government will not give correct instructions. And once again I refer back to the Great Chinese famine, where the government created the inefficiencies.

This is what happened in China, "ohh you have this crop growing food, well this isn't the crop we wanted. Plow the field again and plant this instead." Then they act surprised when no food grows.

See this book, Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962

u/antusheng · 1 pointr/JordanPeterson

Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962 by Yang Jisheng

Not about imprisonment, but about man-made famine. In composition very similar to Gulag Archipelago.

Took 20 years to research and write in China, banned in China. 1,208 pages in the original Chinese, 656 pages in abridged English version.

u/Trarc_ · 1 pointr/todayilearned

>Broadly speaking, Dracula is about moral panic, and homosexuality was a MAJOR feature in moral panic in Stoker's time.

The "link by association" argument that ties Dracula to homosexuality gets to my issue, namely that an association argument isn't enough. The text in Dracula needs to mention homosexuality directly or implicitly for your claim to hold. In my opinion the strongest evidence the "lit crit" author you linked provides is that Count Dracula (male) desires Jonathon's (male) blood, but even this evidence is tempered by the fact that Dracula also attacks women. There is also the greater problem that there is another feasible alternate explanation for this, namely that Dracula's behavior stems from the vampiric desire for human blood both men and women have. This is quite unlike your "Roland Rump" example, where alternative explanations (e.g. that the relationship to Trump is mere coincidence) are absurd. The associations you and the paper mentioned need to be stronger to be convincing.

Secondly, consider the book Nothing to Envy, written by the American author Barbara Demick
about the oppression of those living under the North Korean regime. You could similarly argue that since this book is about oppression, then it is also about the oppression of homosexuals and colored people in the U.S., which are both "major features" of Demick's time. That would be an intriguing interpretation of the text. However, I wouldn't say, "Nothing to Envy is about racism against African Americans in the U.S," which is a stretch — even though we could support the assertion with exhaustive analysis (there are actually many fascinating parallels between the two). At best we could only say that racism against African has an indirect, peripheral influence on Nothing to envy. Ditto for homosexuality and Dracula.

u/Kiteway · 1 pointr/sociology

missyb described it best in her comment, but I'm making mine a separate comment to make sure you see this. In Barbera Demick's work Nothing to Envy, she describes the North Korean reaction to the death of Kim Il-Sung. People were being watched for their emotional displays, and everyone was afraid of not expressing enough remorse/love (in turn leading to ever more frenzied displays of emotion fueled by the others/the fear of being "out-devoted"). Like missyb says, "Don't be so accepting of people's stylised emotional displays." And please don't necessarily accept all the explanations of "it's a hive state" and "it's the power of religion in practice" as the sole explanations. While I have no doubt that the social structure and religious nature of the state have played major roles in creating this "love," most North Koreans aren't stupid or entirely brainwashed - and many lived through the famine and were forced to see the lies with their own eyes. Don't take their intelligence for granted.

It's a question with an answer that exists at the core of all authoritarian regimes: how much of what we are seeing is truly real? I encourage you to read Demick's work and make your own judgement call. (My answer: some of it is, some of it isn't. Unsatisfying, but that's the real world for you.)

u/msc1 · 1 pointr/firstworldproblems

me too! BTW, I'm reading Nothing To Envy by Barbara Demick. It's horrying book about North Korea. If I can save up I'm gonna see N. Korea next year. I think next year I'll have something to karma whore about :P

I have ebook of it, if you want I can share.

u/Velleity · 1 pointr/pics

"And in food news, you've had enough to eat today."

It took a 30 Rock episode to get me reading about North Korea - go figure - but anyway, this pic is from their capital city.

This book set out to describe life in North Korea today, and if it even remotely resembles fact I feel terrible for those living there.

u/lowlifecreep · 1 pointr/ImGoingToHellForThis

the wiki on Korea before WWII and after is good for the facts.
I'm reading Nothing to Envy at the moment which recounts stories of defectors from after the war up until the present from North Korea. Gives a good incite to the day to day life of a North Korean.

There are some great films about the Korean War

Brotherhood of War

The Front Line

This film about the boarder of North and south is great also


u/jeremiahlupinski · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Also check out the book nothing to envy fantastic read.

u/tempstairs · 1 pointr/IAmA

There's a really well written book too that recounts the stories of a few escapees. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

u/Quackattackaggie · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

doesn't look like it is. won a non-fiction award.

u/adrenal8 · 1 pointr/Documentaries

On North Korean along with the Vice ones you've already seen I can recommend the following that you can find on Netflix:

Inside North Korea Lisa Ling (sister of Laura Ling, who was trapped in North Korea) travels to North Korea with an eye surgeon who is doing humanitarian work there. There's a really great scene after all of the patients get their bandages unwrapped.

Crossing the Line About Americans who defected to North Korea during the Korean War and live/lived in Pyongyang. Really interesting stuff.

Kim Jong Il's Comedy Club / The Red Chapel This one is about Korean-Danish comedians who go to Pyongyang to do a very peculiar comedy routine. It's full of awkward moments but there's some pretty insightful stuff in there.

A State of Mind I haven't seen this one, and it's not on Netflix, but it's the same director as Crossing the Line (he's earned DPRK's trust and is allowed access for movies). It's about North Korean girls preparing for the Mass Games.

Also two books I would recommend are Nothing to Envy about ordinary citizens lives during the famine of North Korea and The Real North Korea which explains why politically, North Korea has no choice but to continue the current path.

I don't have any recommendations for China, sorry.

u/unexceptional · 1 pointr/worldnews

Can't recommend the book that blogger talks about highly enough. For the lazy, and non-lazy, it's Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea and one of the best contemporary nonfiction books I've ever read. SO GOOD.

u/Variable303 · 1 pointr/books

Thanks for the tips! The pie shakes at Hamburg Inn sound amazing. I actually just caved in tonight and got a burger/shake combo after a week of eating healthy...

As far as recommendations go, I have a feeling you've likely read most of the fiction I'd suggest. That said, here's a couple non-fiction suggestions you might not have read:

Walkable City, by Jeff Speck. If you've ever been interested in cities, what makes them work (or not work), and what types of decisions urban planners make, check it out. It's a quick read, entertaining, and you'll never see your city or any other city in the same way.

Nothing to Envy, by Barbara Demick. Told primarily through the eyes of two people, this book provides readers with a glimpse of what life is like for the millions of ordinary North Korean citizens.

Anyway, I know it's well past the time frame for your AMA, but if you get a chance, I'd love to know if there's any one book that helped you the most as a writer (e.g. King's, "On Writing"), or any one piece of advice that has carried you the most. I don't ever plan on writing professionally, but I've always wanted to write a novel just for the satisfaction of creating something, regardless if anyone actually reads it. I just feel like I spend so much time consuming things others have created, while creating nothing in return. Plus, getting 'lost in a world you're creating' sounds immensely satisfying.

u/cloudfor2000 · 1 pointr/IAmA

How true is the book "Nothing to Envy"

u/wickintheair · 1 pointr/IAmA

I don't think visiting a country who has a differing foreign policy is really comparable to visiting a country where an oppressive dictator has kept 23 million brainwashed people in utter poverty and starvation. Whatever money you spend in North Korea goes to those in power, and they certainly aren't using that money to feed their people. No, it's more like Hennessy and cigarettes.

Furthermore, anyone who suggests that the official tour that everyone who visits NK goes on is in any way a full and accurate depiction of day to day life in North Korea is kidding themselves. That tour is carefully crafted to only show what the propaganda arm of NK wants. You have two tour guides who are carefully selected from party loyalists, you're not allowed to leave their sight, you're not allowed to talk with anyone else, you're not allowed to take pictures they don't like. I'm not quite sure how you would bring a "glimpse of hope" to an average North Korean if you're not allowed to interact with them in any way.

If you're interested in learning about day to day life in NK, I would recommend reading North of the DMZ by Andrei Lankov, who studied in North Korea in the 80's, or Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick, who interviewed many defectors about their experiences in NK.

Tourism isn't going to do much for the average North Korean. For a start, I'd place my money on soap operas smuggled in from South Korea and pirate radio stations.

u/RepostFromLastMonth · 1 pointr/worldnews

Yes. The older generation that still remembers are in favor of unification, but the younger generations see them as another country, and a burden that they'd have to pay for (in an already highly competitive society). They see them as a massive amount of uneducated and brainwashed refugees they would have to pay for who would not fit into modern South Korean society.

North Koreans do escape and defect to the south. It is not an easy thing for them. They are looked down on by the South Koreans, and they are in a place where the language is different, their skills and credentials are no longer valid (I remember reading an interview with a girl who was a doctor in North Korea, but her credentials were not accepted by places in the South and she had to go back to school).

North Koreans who escape to the South are automatically granted citizenship. Right now, with a trickle of defectors, that is fine. But if the country fell, they would need to keep them sequestered in NK, and then deal with the North's disillusionment as they see how bad they are off compared to the South, and that they will likely never be able to have the lives that the South Koreans have achieved after reunification and the anger that will bring. The issue would reverberate long after, and it may only be the children or grandchildren of those from the North who will finally succeed in the South.

If you are interested in the history of North Korea, I highly recommend reading Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader, which gives a very good and complete history of North Korea from its founding till the 1990's.

After that, I recommend Nothing to Envy, which is a collection of interviews following the lives of six North Korean defectors.

Other Books to read:

  • Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee--A Look Inside North Korea
  • This is Paradise!: My North Korean Childhood
  • The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia
  • The Reluctant Communist: My Desertion, Court-Martial, and Forty-Year Imprisonment in North Korea
u/made1eine · 1 pointr/IAmA

for people interested in everyday life in NK: I just read a fantastic book by an American journalist following the lives of (I think) 6 defectors while also providing some good historical and cultural background.

It's called Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick. Highly recommended.

u/BlamelessKodosVoter · 1 pointr/worldnews

But that's a work of fiction. Here's a good book about the lives of North Koreans

u/unicorn-jones · 1 pointr/NoStupidQuestions

I highly recommend Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea for a good look at the situation North Korea.

As I understand it (through this book and a few other works I've read on the topic), NK leaders/the Kim family are mired in a fantasy in which they see themselves as being under constant threat by S Korea and the West. They feel the need to constantly flex their muscle in order to demonstrate that they cannot be invaded the way they were by the Japanese and the Americans in the past. This, despite the fact that an estimated 500-600k people died of famine in NK in our lifetimes, which means that developing weapons and rocketry is sucking food out of the mouths of starving people.

Relatedly, it's to prove to the NK people internally that they are a mighty country that the world envies/is afraid of. Even without media access to the outside world, the average NK citizen knows how important military might is on the global scale, so seeing their country appear to be a player on that stage ensures that the citizenry continues to buy the government's lies about how important NK is as a world player.

u/WinonaForever · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

If you haven't already, I would recommend reading Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick.

u/muj561 · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Here's the Amazon link:

And a Prezi review that includes a reading level assessment:

Reading level: middle school students to adults
few parts more appropriate for older middle school students
Interesting for: people who are curious North Korean way of life and how North Koreans reacted to an economic crisis, as well as struggles in society

u/joot78 · 1 pointr/SampleSize

I did take it! :)

P.S. My favorite NK defector(s) book is Nothing to Envy - if you read just one, go with that!

u/deadtous · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

I really enjoyed Nothing to Envy but it's about North Korea. Longform journalism.

u/joch256 · 1 pointr/videos

I'm pretty sure it's this book. Highly recommend

u/mindMob · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

This semester I had to read a non-fiction book too, so I picked this:

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

No regrets. Excellent flow, loved the author's way of presenting different events, multiple sources and excellent knowledge to acquire about the past and current life in North Korea.

u/biglost · 1 pointr/pics

yeah, loads are, its impossible to brush that aside at this point...but the issue comes the fact that they are still very ignorant to their situation relative to the rest of the world. Many still think they have the moral and economic high ground and are completely flabbergasted to see it any other way.

I recently finished this book and recomend it to anyone interested in the human side of DPRK, its phenomenal.

u/svanobanano · 1 pointr/IAmA

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick goes into this quite a bit, as well as just general life in the DPRK, if you're interested at all.

u/Schadenfreuder · 1 pointr/pics

The country's population is immensely famished. The majority of the population are forced to fend themselves with nearly zero assistance from Pyongpang, and thus they've eaten everything remotely edible over a decade ago. I've seen recipes for bark come out of that country.

There is an immensely fascinating book that does a masterful job of recapping the country's recent history and the struggles of the people: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North America.

u/robbie321 · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick

It's incredible (ly depressing). You should read it. I live in Seoul so scary to think this is only like 60km away.

u/Fractology · 1 pointr/pics

If you're at all interested in how people are living (or, more appropriately, struggling to live there) in North Korea, you MUST read "Nothing To Envy." This is a book written from the stories of six North Korean defectors. I doubt there's a better source of information about the inside of this joke of a nation:

u/hipsterparalegal · 1 pointr/books

The most recent nonfiction book that had the biggest impact on me is "Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea." Two friends have read it since and they were just as blown away as I was:

u/therealdrag0 · 1 pointr/WTF
u/boredcentsless · 1 pointr/worldnews

>They have smuggled TV shows from SK, they listen to radio, they work in some way or the other. They don't just sit at home and worship the Kims.

Some do, some don't. It depends on where you live in NK. The ones who would sit and remain in the country instead of bolting at the first chance most likely would. this is a good book about the situation

u/wizardomg · 1 pointr/Kanye

Escape from Camp 14: One Man's Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West

Also the person in the neighborhood that reports on you part I mentioned is from this book

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea

u/iamaravis · 1 pointr/TrueAtheism

I'm aware of the state of things in NK. I just didn't think "cult of personality", however extreme, counted as a recognized religion. :) Perhaps I'm wrong.

(Also, I just finished reading the fascinating book Nothing to Envy. Highly recommend it!)

u/SanFransicko · 1 pointr/worldnews

Piggybacking your comment to tell anyone interested in the situation in N.K. to read the book "Nothing to Envy"

This is true. When Jong Il was in power, and the famine was extremely harsh, free markets sprung up and foreign aid was available for sale. It was the first time a lot of people had been able to get white rice in years. I love to hear this; hopefully it's the beginning of the end for their government. When history looks back on what's been going on in North Korea, I'm sure it will judge the rest of the world harshly for letting this oppression go on so long, leading to the deaths by starvation of so many people.

There is an amazing but very dark book called "Nothing to Envy" link. It's an amazing snapshot of what's going on in that country, written at an interesting time. When Korea finally opens up, we won't be able to get the points of view of people who are absolutely indoctrinated with the propaganda of the North.

u/hawk_222b · 1 pointr/China

The Penguin History of Modern China
is a great overview and very easy to read.

One of the best books on the subject I've read is
The Search for Modern China by. Jonathan Spence but it is very dry.

u/cariusQ · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

What do you mean by ancient China? I only consider anything before 221 BC to be ancient China. If that the case try
Cambridge History of Ancient China

I would consider Taiping rebellion to be part of modern Chinese history.
[God's Chinese Son] (
Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom

For something in between ancient china and taiping rebellion try
Imperial China 900-1800

There still 1300 years gap that I don't have good book to recommend to you.

For good introduction to modern China
try Search for Modern China Keep in mind that the book start at 1500 AD.

u/Ubek · 1 pointr/history

Definitely! It is one of the most important events of modern Chinese history. It really kicked off the "century of humiliation."

If you are interested in reading more about it, I'd highly recommend God's Chinese Son. It's very well researched but still really readable.

u/MiscRedditor · 1 pointr/history
u/thebostinian · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/tiabguls1183 · 1 pointr/Philippines

You're kidding about believing the "Asia for Asians" propaganda, right? If you're up for some light reading, you'll see how the Axis Japanese bit off more than they could chew and translated their Bushido moral code into unsuspecting Asians--you know most of the horrifying war crimes that happen next--in Iris Chang's the Rape of Nanking. Most of the atrocities depicted were culled from Imperial Japan's occupation of China.

u/xDivineReborn · 1 pointr/todayilearned

A good book to learn more about what the Japanese did to the chinese is called the "Rape of Nanking" by Iris Chang. It's a good book quite gruesome though. I apologize if this was posted in the comments already, but I thought I'd throw it in since so few people know about what happened in China at the hands of the Japanese.

u/Ask_Seek_Knock · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Okay based on that I'm going to suggest a few things you could add to your wish list. I promise I won't be offended if you don't like them, but you might find something you're interested in. :)

Tea things:

First for cute tea things, I highly recommend the flowering tea pot I received it as an Arbitrary Day gift and it's awesome. The teas are delicious and most importantly, to me, the tea pot is sooo cute.

Mana Tea infuser a lot of people have this on their wish lists. I should add it to mine too.

Tea Sampler There are several samplers with different types of tea from this company and a bunch of others. You should look around for sure.

Hello Kitty Stuff:

Add on Hello Kitty alarm clock

This Hello Kitty toy It's adorable.


Ceramic travel mug

History related:

Hitler Youth This looks like it would be a fascinating read.

The Roads of the Roma: A PEN Anthology of Gypsy Writers

Gypsies Under the Swastika

The Rape Of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust Of World War II

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

u/Morble · 1 pointr/martialarts

I can't speak with any real authority, since I haven't read it, but according to this fellow's take on it, the origin of martial arts being seen as a spiritual endeavor can be traced back to Confucius, and I believe he speaks on this philosophy in The Analects. I would start here.

u/facelessplebe · 1 pointr/history
u/snackburros · 1 pointr/AskHistorians
u/kaoru77 · 1 pointr/history
u/veritate_valeo · 1 pointr/AskHistorians

Mao's China and After proved to be a surprisingly readable story of modern China; the first of it is almost a narrative about Mao and so it's very dramatic and powerful.

The author is fairly leftist so it comes out being somewhat sympathetic and apologetic for the choices Mao made, which gives you a pretty neat look at that part of the story.

u/spoofycrisp · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Well, he did get to live in extreme luxury and sleep with multitudes of young women who worshiped him while his country burned around him and the people blamed everyone but him for it. I honestly don't think he gave a shit about anything but himself.

A disgusting, acrid, evil human being he was, but he may well have been brilliant in his own way.

This book provides an excellent summary (backed by tons of data) of this and the thousands of other disastrous mistakes made by Mao and his personality cult, and details his hypocrisy as well.

u/Guybrush_Fandango · 1 pointr/todayilearned

Post may get buried, but hey!
I highly recommend reading Mao's Great Famine. By Frank Dikötter.
I lived in China for 11 years, and thought I was pretty aware of most of the crazy shit that went down during the Cultural Revolution.
This book proved me wrong. It was SO much crazier than I had thought.
It was the first (I believe) time that official party documents have been translated and released, and gives a great look at the inner workings of the party and how truly fucked it all was from the get-go.

u/WaywardChronicler · 1 pointr/pics

Sure but four urban workers and three farmers don't do much against a tank. It's also shockingly hard to coordinate a whole bunch of people like that, especially in a nation so censor-happy as China. I'm drawing off of half-remembered facts from Dikötter's book here, but I think a lot of what made the Great Famine so devastating is that the government forcefully isolated starving villages to prevent word of famine from spreading.

I don't know, I think the thought that the Chinese or the Koreans or whoever else can just rise up and start a fun democracy is romantic, but I don't think its feasible. Not because of culture, but just plain logistics.

u/Montana_Fish · 1 pointr/politics

how about this one

or this

or this that'll be fun for you to read..

u/toryhistory · 1 pointr/changemyview

>we've empirically seen the ways socialist experiments have failed, and thus, we'd adapt our methodology.

But you haven't. You're promising more of the same, and failing in exactly the same way.

>this number is empirically false and goes off of broken assumptions in one book that has been proven, by historical analysis, to be entirely fabricated, more or less.

No, it certainly hasn't.

>t takes into account soviet war deaths, which were not caused by socialism, and also the fact that those war deaths lead to people not being born at all, which i don't think counts as a death.

It most certainly does not. Some estimates start by looking at those sorts of figures as a way of establishing demographic baselines in poorly documented societies, but none of them finish there and that is not where the 100 million figure comes from. You should really read arguments before you dismiss them.

>the overwhelming majority of socialists, give or take, like, two, do not want central planning.

As I said, there are only two options, central planning or markets, and you reject markets. On top of that, you cannot have collective ownership without collective decision making, and that means central planning.

u/theksepyro · 1 pointr/zen


Linji: 1 (this is the copy that I have, after discussing it here it sounded better) 2

Bankei: 1 2


Edit: My university professor translated the xinxinming (based off of lok to's translation) and chunks of the platform sutra (original work i believe), and i've got a copy of that. he suggests for further reading on the platform sutra to read 1 2 3 (as well as zen doctrine of no mind! ha!)

u/tostono · 1 pointr/zen

Ok. There's numerous examples of his reinterpretations of Daoist and Buddhist concepts in his record here.

I'd also recommend this letter by Yuanwu about Linji which is found in Zen Letters.

u/Fallen1331 · 1 pointr/zen

Also, they are without produced nature
亦無生性. See the Northern Nirvana

The impure dharmas, even before they
come into being, already have birth-nature
生性; hence it is through birth that they
can come into being. Th e pure dharmas are
originally without birth-nature 無生性; for
this reason their coming into being cannot
be through birth. Like fi re, which has an
original [burning-]nature and which, on
chancing to meet a cause, bursts into fl ame;
like the eye, which has a seeing nature and
because of color, light, and mind, therefore
sees; so too are sentient beings. Because
they originally possess [birth-]nature, on
chancing to meet the causal conditions
and come in contact with karma, they are
conceived when their fathers and mothers
are in harmonious union. (t 12: 490c)
For these terms as used in the Weishi 唯
識 (Consciousness-Only) school, see the
entry 三無性 in Mochizuki Bukkyō daijiten

They are just empty names, and these
names are also empty.
See Vimalakīrti’s
reply to Mañjuśrī’s questions regarding
his illness:

When [the Bodhisattva] attains to this
sameness, there is no other illness; there
is only the illness of emptiness, and the
illness of emptiness is also empty.” (t 14:

Th e interpretation of these lines is based
upon the Zhu Weimojie jing 注維摩詰
經, the commentary on the Vimalakīrti
Sutra said to have been compiled by Seng-
zhao from notes on Kumārajīva’s lectures
given during the translation of the sutra,
plus the comments of Sengzhao and sev-
eral other disciples (t 38: 377a). Just as
Linji in the previous section character-
ized the dharmakāya, saṃbhogakāya, and
nirmāṇakāya as “dependent transforma-
tions” (see pages 162 and 209, above), so
here he uses the same term to character-
ize the states of nirvana, bodhi, etc.—all
generally considered to be absolute or
transcendental—as relative or dependent

The objective surroundings and the
subjective mind translates
境智, a term
explained at length by the Tiantai mas-
ter Zhiyi in his Si nianchu 四念處 (Four
foundations of mindfulness) (t 46: 575a).
It was apparently familiar to the compil-
ers of the Dunhuang Platform Sutra of
the Sixth Patriarch, where, in section 17,
we fi nd:

No-thought 無念 means not to be defi led
by external objects. It is to free thought
from external objects and not to arouse
thoughts about dharmas. But do not stop
thinking about things, nor eliminate all
thoughts. [If you do so] as soon as a single
thought stops you will be reborn in other
realms. Take heed of this! Do not cease
objective things nor subjective mind (境
智). (See Yampolsky 1967, 51.)

Th e term may have been introduced into
the Chan school by Yongjia Xuanjue, who
was a student of Tiantai before studying
under the Sixth Patriarch, since we find
the following in the Chanzong Yongjia ji
禪宗永嘉集 (Anthology of Yongjia of the
Chan School):

He who aspires to seek the great Way
must fi rst of all make pure the three acts
[of body, word, and thought] through
pure practice. Th en, in the four forms of
demeanor—sitting, standing, walking, and
lying—he will enter the Way by degrees.
When he has reached the state where the
objects of the six roots have been thor-
oughly penetrated while conforming with
conditions, and the objective world and
the subjective mind 境智 both have been
stilled, he will mysteriously meet with the
marvelous principle. (t 48: 388b)

Another example of its usage in Chan is
in zj 18. Guishan Lingyou asks his disciple
Yangshan Huiji if he can judge the teach-
ers and disciples who come to see him.

“Th ere are students coming from every-
where. When they ask you about Caoxi’s
(the Sixth Patriarch’s) cardinal principle,
how do you answer them?” [Yangshan]
said, “[I ask,] ‘Virtuous one, where have
you come from recently?’ The student
may answer, ‘Recently I have come from
visiting old worthies everywhere.’ I shall
thereupon bring forward an objective
circumstance and ask, ‘Do the old wor-
thies everywhere speak about this or not?’
Another time I bring out an objective cir-
cumstance and say, ‘Putting aside this for
the time being, tell me what is the cardinal
principle of the old worthies everywhere?’
Th e above two are cases of objective cir-
cumstance and subjective mind 境智.”

Waste paper to wipe off privy filth.
A similarly iconoclastic statement by
Linji’s contemporary Deshan Xuanjian is
recorded in zh 20: “Th e twelve divisions
of the teachings are the census-records
of demons and spirits, paper [fi t only] for
cleaning running sores” (x 79: 173a). For a
translation of the entire passage, see page
169, above.

But you, weren’t you born of a mother?
This rather cryptic remark undoubtedly
refers to the “original nature” or “original
face” with which everyone is born. See
the following lines in Nanyue Mingzan’s
poem Ledao ge 樂道歌 (Song of enjoying
the Way):

Don’t blindly seek the true buddha / Th e
true buddha cannot be seen.
Th e wondrous nature and the marvelous
mind / How could they ever have been
tempered and refi ned!
My mind is the nothing-to-do mind / My
face, the face born of my mother.
Th ough the kalpa-stone may be worn
away / Th is is changeless forever.
(t 51: 461b)


Sorry for the formatting im on mobile.

u/OfMiceAndMenus · 1 pointr/moronarmy

Yeah, those 'r's are tricky. It's more like a combination of D and L.

The Pict-O-Graphix versions are pretty useful. They have one for Kana, which is like a really tiny pocket-book, and then one for Kanji which has about 1000 kanji and is rather large. Like this

u/notacrackheadofficer · 1 pointr/LifeProTips

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is a great book.
Penmanship is technically drawing.
Another fun exercise is using a children's kanji book regarding Japanese calligraphy.
Some random choices arbitrarily picked as examples.
The more you draw, the better you get at drawing.
Chinese traditional drawing books are also helpful.

u/pcmmm · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

When you say you have studied Japanese for 2.5 years that's really not enough information. Have you been to Japan? Have you been there for an extended amount of time (e.g. several months?). I doubled my number of Kanji while I was staying in Japan, whenever I saw a sign / something written on my milk carton / my aircon remote, I would look it up and learn it that way. While in the subway I would take my time to look up random Kanji I saw in the advertisments.

I would use Kanji flashcards of the kind you can by in 500 box sets and go through a couple of them after a day of life in Japan: some characters I would have seen today but maybe would not remember, so going through the flash cards would help me remember them and clarify their reading. I would not learn with flash cards of Kanji I hadn't ever seen before - a useless exercise for me, I can only remember characters I've seen used in a real-life context. I don't "learn" Kanji programmatically taking them from some list and remembering the on- and kun-readings, I will only ever care about what I need to know in order to understand the text I'm working on. A children's book, song lyrics I got from the internet, texts for learners, Wikipedia articles, NHK news. The real lesson is: in order to get good at reading, you have to read a lot. Today I got a copy of a printed newspaper (読売新聞), you can buy those internationally, I got one from my local retailer at a train station in Germany. Reading an article takes an hour and a PC with a Kanji search by radical and a dictionary site, but I can do it.

For refreshment, I use resources like the amazing etymological dictionary "A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters" which will tell you the historical evolution and proper decomposition of Kanji, some stories can be really interesting. With this help I can tell that when seeing a character such as 緒, it consists of thread (糸) and the pronunciation しょ/しゃ(者), hence "the word meaning together (=bound by a thread) pronounced kind of like 者)". Next to etymological help you can also use pure visual clues.

When you read real Japanese texts, you quickly realize that 2000 Kanji is not enough. Even children's literature would use characters outside of that official list. 3000 is more realistic. You should have material (dictionaries, flash cards etc.) that covers more than the official list. Don't despair though, actual Japanese native speakers take their time learning them, too! The more Japanese you come in contact with every day, the better.

u/imtootiredforthis · 1 pointr/videos

This idea has been around quite a while - at least for Japanese use of Chinese characters. I picked up Kanji Pict-O-Graphix over 15 years ago when I was starting to learn Japanese.

u/uberscheisse · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

there is a book that is called "kanji pictographics" that helps with about 1000 basic kanji. nice to have on your coffee table. or kotatsu once you get to japan.

u/cbmuser · 1 pointr/videos

Also, her idea isn't actually new or revolutionary. I bought the book Kanji Pict-O-Graphix some months ago.

That book was published in 1992.

u/jlptbootcamp · 1 pointr/LearnJapanese

I think Heisig is good as a reference book, as in, if you have difficulty learning/remembering a particular kanji, you can take a look at it and hopefully that will lock in the kanji and pronunciation, but as the only way to learn kanji it seems a bit troublesome to me. Another book that is pretty good is Pict-o-Graphix which again is good as a reference book, not a good learning resource.

I personally use Anki and a new site memrise to practice a lot of kanji reading/meanings.

u/cooperativeadvantage · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

I suggest reading Fanshen by William Hinton

It describes Mao's China as experienced by a small village called Long Bow. It really gave me a good understanding of the great potential of socialism, what went wrong, and why the failure wasn't inevitable.

u/meiji33 · 1 pointr/japan

They drove an increase in abortions in Japan...for one year.

The more interesting fact is that up until the 50s or so, abortion wasn't really a viable method of birth control in Japan (Buddhism, obviously, isn't hip to the whole 'ending of life' thing) until introduced as a case study by American and global population concerns.

Check out "Unnatural Selection" for more.

u/reyeater · 1 pointr/China

well...organ harvesting from FLG people was confirmed by investigators many times. I saw even a book on this somewhere...

u/ReddJudicata · 1 pointr/todayilearned

It appears to be sourced from this book:

This isn't the BBC article referenced, but it's a similar, older report from the guardian.

Here's an earlier from Gutmann:

u/itag67 · 1 pointr/worldnews

Well, I have to tell you you are totally wrong. We do know a lot about the domestic life from defectors to the south, aid workers, Chinese business men that travel there frequently, and the occasional tourist. There are extensive accounts of what life is like there in the city and in the country. But nice try Mr. Know-it-all.

Unlike you I can substantiate my claims with sources:

u/bookwench · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

Booktopia's got a bunch of Aussie military history books here.

Regimental Books has military books in e-book format too.

I think if she likes military history and biographies she might, at a stretch, enjoy Nothing To Envy, which I thought was an amazing account of life in North Korea. Also a book called The Aquariums of Pyongyang.

Biographies, she might like Swimming to Antarctica, about an endurance swimmer who swam a mile in antarctic waters.

If she's at all interested in science fiction, Baen's Free E-book Library has a bunch of "starter" books for their series, which tend to be military-based sci-fi.

And Project Gutenberg has a ton of military history; they're the go-to free e-book supplier. Loads of good stuff. This is my favorite to recommend - A Lady's Captivity among Chinese Pirates in the Chinese Seas by Fanny Loviot. She's such a fun read! Combines pirates, history, and biography all in one.

u/fairandsquare · 1 pointr/worldnews

It's not propaganda. The vast majority of the population is brainwashed and have little access to external news. Only a carefully vetted elite few can travel to China or anywhere out of the country. Having a satellite phone will land you in a labor camp. Underground printing presses? You must be kidding. The North Korean government is a truly tyrannical, oppressive regime with ever present mechanisms of control and suppression inherited from the Soviets and fine-tuned over decades of practice.

If you want to read a fascinating book about NK told through the eyes of an English teacher take a look at Without You There Is No Us. Also really good Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea.

u/gaoshan · 0 pointsr/China

This is a good book about the subject: The Rape of Nanking. Covers everything you are asking about.

To get an idea of how big of a raw nerve this book struck try reading some of the 1-star reviews. A mishmash of insane people, Japanese right wing revisionists and even a few people apparently posing as Chinese. Side note: the author committed suicide about 7 years after this was published.

u/Shulamite · 0 pointsr/Libertarian

And that’s why I know you don’t have any idea about communist China,whether past or present one.If you do care about China instead of using it as a promotion of your ideology,you could read tombstone or live a happy life in your imaginary world.

u/mddking · 0 pointsr/China


Yes, you can think that those people die because ccp's awful policies Indirectly. And how do you know that ccp were willingly and actively trying to purge those people? And to those murderers who knowingly and consciously kill iraqis, what do you wanna say to them? if you already wanted to grill ccp on the fireplace, what will you do to those US soldiers and their commanders?

u/AssButtFaceJones · 0 pointsr/CringeAnarchy

I hate highlighting. I was reading a copy of God's Chinese Son I got off Amazon and I guess it was a textbook because some knob had highlighted half the book, including writing dumb notes in the margins. /r/mildlyinfuriating

u/msfayzer · 0 pointsr/NorthKoreaNews

I don't remember where exactly I read that. Probably in either Nothing to Envy or The Impossible state.

I highly recommend both books (though I thought that Cha came off as a bit defensive at times) for general reading on the DPRK.

u/iamyoursuperior_4evr · -1 pointsr/pics

The gullibility and smarmy naivete in this thread is just pathetic. Yes. War is bad. What a revelation. Why hasn't anybody else thought of that before?

If you want to feel all warm and fuzzy inside go buy a Hallmark card or go browse /r/aww.

People living in the real world understand that geopolitics is a game of advantage that you can't circumvent by pleading for everyone to join hands and sing Kumbaya. When you appease dictators and cede ground to them you simply enable and embolden their behavior. Furthermore, the South Korean president is hugging and holding hands with a mass murderer who has enslaved over 20 million people, condemning them to a live a life of near starvation and physical/psychological imprisonment. You're the leader of an extraordinarily prosperous, democratic country; have some dignity. You're meeting a piece of human excrement who is feeling on top of the world right now. You shake the man's hand for diplomacy's sake. You don't hug and caress him.

It's just so god damned pathetic how naive people are. What's happening here is that South Korea learned to live under a nuclear DPRK a long time ago. What they can't abide is constantly ratcheting up brinksmanship that is eagerly stoked by a senile reality tv star with the strongest military in the history of the world at his beck and call.

China, RoK, and DPRK have cooked up this appeasement scheme to dupe Trump into thinking he's quelled the DPRK threat. DPRK will keep its nuclear weapons (the announcement that they've completed their nuclear weapons program and no longer need the facility they're shutting down should have been a good indicator of DPRK's intentions for people that were too blind to them up until now) and as we can see here, the Kim regime gets boatloads of photo opportunities, diplomatic prestige, increased security internally, increased legitimacy externally and inevitably sanctions relief. China will benefit from further DPRK stability and increased trade opportunities (and leverage on Trump as well). And South Korea gets to see the sabre-rattling cease and they receive the same benefits China does from prolonged security for Kim regime. They don't want to deal with that humanitarian crisis either. Trump gets a plaque on his wall that says "Best Negotiator Ever" and a polaroid of a North Korean testing facility with a "closed" sign on the gate.

But don't let me get in the way of everyone "awwwwww"ing over this like it's a picture of a cat hugging a golden retriever. Bunch of rubes.

edit: Can't wait to see all the memes come out of this. Kim Jong Un is gonna have his image rehabilitated the same way GWB did lol... But I don't want this to just a useless rant yelling at silly people. So, before you guys start memeing up KJU let me give you guys a short reading list of DPRK books I've greatly enjoyed (I've been fascinated with DPRK for at least a decade):

  • Dear Leader: My Escape from North Korea. This is a great firsthand account of an "inner" party member who lived the relatively high life in Pyongyang as a propagandist.

  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea Exactly what it sounds like: biographies of normal people who live(d) in DPRK over the last 30 years. This book is shocking, sickening, heart wrenching, triumphant, and any other superlative descriptor you can think of. Can't recommend it enough.

  • Aquariums of Pyongyang. Nothing to Envy describes gulag life in detail but this book delves into it exclusively and I found myself enthralled but revolted at the same time. You'll have to take breaks to process the horror and atrocities it describes.

    So yeah, check any of those books out then come back here and see if you're still inclined to "oooo" and "awww" and talk about how sweet this is.
u/LukaCola · -2 pointsr/todayilearned

If this sounds surprising, I suggest people read the book "Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea"

Amazon linky

It's nice because it doesn't just focus on what is horrible but also speaks about the people's lives, their thoughts, feelings, dreams, etc. It's very humanizing, especially when some of the people written about talk about how much they loved their leader and worked to meet the party's desires.

I think the thing that kind of surprised me was how, after the death of one of the Jongs, everyone basically competed with each other to appear sad and distraught in their public mournings. After all, someone who didn't express this might be seen as subversive. Her description of it all is far better than mine, it's a good book.