From Library Journal
When Harry Wu's home videos of the Chinese gulag were shown on 60 Minutes last September, the American public first learned the dirty secret of China's extensive network of forced labor (laogai) camps. (Earlier, the human rights group Asia Watch showed that Chinese convict labor products were being illegally exported to the United States.) Wu, himself a laogai prisoner for 19 years, is an authentic voice from the vast silence of China's hidden empire. His spare, sober account is a well-documented analysis of the several thousand forced labor camps, where an estimated 16 to 20 million Chinese, perhaps ten percent of them political offenders, labor on prison farms, and in factories and workshops, in a harsh atmosphere permeated by sadism, torture, and malnutrition. The Chinese Communists obviously learned many lessons from their Soviet comrades, whose gulag Solzhenitsyn so brilliantly chronicled. This is a unique and valuable contribution to our understanding of post-1949 China.
- Steven I. Levine, Boulder Run Research, Hillsborough, N.C.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.