I read this book while living/working in China, in 2001. The headmaster of the school where I was teaching, actually lent me the book. It's banned in China, of course, so I was shocked when I saw it on his shelf. He too was scorned by the Cultural Revolution, and I've often wondered how his story would have read. I found that the Chinese are very tight-lipped about what they truly think on political matters, and the history of China... communism, moreso! This being said, reading a memoir such as this, was very informative. I can't even imagine going through such hardships. It's no wonder the Chinese are very resilient people! To be honest, I can't blame them for keeping their thoughts to themselves, knowing how the history of that country. Powers were constantly shifting, and a few words which were the right thing to say at one time, would have to incriminated then next (after powers shifted once again). The book certainly helped me to understand why China is the way it is today! I had a lot more empathy for the Chinese people as a whole.
I still find myself looking at an elderly Chinese person, and wondering what their life was like when they were younger. Every one of them could write a memoir which would be equally as gripping as this one.
This book is excellent. I loved it, and couldn't put it down. I've lent it out many times, and plan to read it again!