Gang of One: Memoirs of a Red Guard

Gang of One: Memoirs of a Red Guard

by Fan Shen

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Overview

In 1966 twelve-year-old Fan Shen, a newly minted Red Guard, plunged happily into China's Cultural Revolution. Disillusion soon followed, then turned to disgust and fear when Shen discovered that his compatriots had tortured and murdered a doctor whose house he'd helped raid and whose beautiful daughter he secretly adored. A story of coming of age in the midst of monumental historical upheaval, Shen's Gang of One is more than a memoir of one young man's harrowing experience during a time of terror. It is also, in spite of circumstances of remarkable grimness and injustice, an unlikely picaresque tale of adventure full of courage, cunning, wit, tenacity, resourcefulness, and sheer luck—the story of how Shen managed to scheme his way through a hugely oppressive system and emerge triumphant.

Gang of One recounts how Shen escaped, again and again, from his appointed fate, as when he somehow found himself a doctor at sixteen and even, miraculously, saved a few lives. In such volatile times, however, good luck could quickly turn to misfortune: a transfer to the East Wind Aircraft Factory got him out of the countryside and into another terrible trap, where many people were driven to suicide; his secret self-education took him from the factory to college, where friendship with an American teacher earned him the wrath of the secret police. Following a path strewn with perils and pitfalls, twists and surprises worthy of Dickens, Shen's story is ultimately an exuberant human comedy unlike any other.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803293366
Publisher: UNP - Bison Books
Publication date: 03/28/2006
Series: American Lives
Pages: 282
Sales rank: 772,775
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author


Hailing from the People’s Republic of China, Fan Shen is a professor at Rochester Community and Technical College in Minnesota. He has published three translated books and numerous articles in both Chinese and English.

Table of Contents

Prefaceix
Acknowledgmentsxiii
Part 1Fire
1."Burn the Old World!"3
2."Long Live the Red Terror!"10
3."That's My Piano!"19
4.The Great Wall Fighting Team30
5."Revolution Means Chopping Life"42
6.The Forbidden Books48
7.The Great Leader Meets the Red Guards53
Part 2Earth
8.The Journey West65
9.The Beijing Kids72
10."Be a Revolutionary Peasant!"81
11.The Great Mountain Flood87
12.The Barefoot Doctor96
13.Moon Face102
14.Smoking Devil's Wedding106
15.The Death of Uncle Cricket109
Part 3Metal
16.A Mouse Wants to Fly to the Sky121
17.Li Ling127
18."Another Jumped Last Night"134
19.The Year with Two Augusts140
20."The Goal: Join the Party"146
21."Confession Is Death!"153
22.The Lucky Eleven165
Part 4Wood
23.The Heavenly White Pagoda177
24."Two Uncles Are Here to See You"186
25."Clever Zhao's Missing!"199
26.The Nun204
27.The Monster of Ambition210
28.The Last Battle in College217
Part 5Water
29."Forget It!"227
30.Watery Stool, No Bacteria?234
31.A Stinking Stone from the Outhouse241
32."You Have Launched a Satellite!"247
33."I'm the Only One Who Reads Your Letters"254
34.The Campaign for a Passport258
35."Savor It"266
36.Don't Laugh Yet!271

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Gang of One: Memoirs of a Red Guard 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent! One of those books you just can't put down. What an incredible life. I know have a better understanding of what it is/was like to live in Communist China. Best read I have had in a long, long time. Everyone- young and old should read this book.