Jung Chang's book Wild Swans attempts to capture all major events from the end of the 19th century to the late 20th century happening in China. The book follows three generations of Chang's family, starting with her grandmother and ending with Chang. Of the many changes that occurred during the time period, Chang seems most fixated upon communism. Imperial China, Nationalist (Kuomintang) China, and the Japanese occupation are all only described briefly in Wild Swans.
Wild Swans is supposed to be a story of "Three Daughters of China"; however it is far from it. First off the book is a lengthy 508 pages and is split unevenly among the three generations of women. After the first hundred pages, the communist section begins. Chang makes it obvious that she despises communism. When Mao Zedong dies Chang states "The news filled me with such euphoria that for an instant I was numb." Undoubtedly communism was a major part of life for all Chinese; however after page 100, every single anecdote dealt with communism. Chang must have had other stories to tell but she does not tell them. The stories are all negative and they grow increasingly shocking and critical of communism as the book progresses. In chapter 7, Jung Chang's mother, in order prove herself to be a devoted communist, is forced to forage for food even though she is pregnant. In chapter 20, Chang's father is arrested by communist authorities after speaking his mind. In chapter 22, the whole family is split apart and sent to the countryside for "re-education".
Wild Swans is really an open attack on communism. It is fine for Jung Chang to write such a book. I would recommend it "whole-heartedly" if you are interested in reading a book containing bits and pieces of the communist life in China. However, if you are looking for a more comprehensive history, do not expect much from Wild Swans.