Chaos Under Heaven
The Shocking Story of China's Search for Democracy
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The first complete book on the Tiananmen Square tragedy to date. Reveals how diplomats from the United States, Britain and Europe knew exact details of the impending massacre of the students in Tiananmen. A vivid narrative window into secret meetings in the Oval Office, CIA headquarter and the private compound of China’s leaders. Over 100 interviewees contribute to an untold story.
For the first time, Chaos Under Heaven reveals America’s and the West’s betrayal of the children of China, who, for a brief moment in history, brought democracy to their homeland. In this stunning book Gordon Thomas takes readers inside the tragic drama of those fifty-five days when the young people of China, crying out for freedom, rebelled against the Old Men of the Long March.
At stake were America’s and the world’s roles in the future of China. Once castigated by Karl Marx as a “carefully preserved mummy in a hermetrically sealed coffin,” China has become the superpower of the Pacific. As the students’ demand for democracy escalated, the Western nations realized that their carefully cultivated ambitions for China were at risk. Their goal was to preserve the status quo.
Here are just a few of the book’s revelations:
• How professional diplomats from Britain, the United States, and Europe who knew the exact details of the impending massacre of the students in Tiananmen Square were ordered not to share that information with the students.
• How Barbara bush had her favorite television show, “Dallas,” interrupted by the reports coming live from Tiananmen Square. Even then, with the massacre only hours away, her husband still refused to intervene, despite the fact that he had received intelligence reports from the CIA clearly stating that a massacre was imminent.
• How the huge financial involvement of some six hundred American companies in China was critical in President Bush’s decision to do nothing about helping the students.
• Why China did not use its veto power as the Security Council gave Saddam Hussein a deadline for the Gulf War.
But Chaos Under Heaven is much more than those headline-making stories. This vivid you-are-there narrative takes you into the inner sanctums of the Oval Office, the CIA headquarters at Langley, the private compounds of the leaders of China as they debated and fought over the great revolt. And finally, it shows in dramatic detail how the supreme leader, Deng Xiaoping, gave the orders for the execution of the students.
Thomas also takes the reading into Tiananmen Square, at one point filled with over a millions people, and to the very podium where the student leaders debated their next step. It shows in harrowing detail the four hundred protesting Chinese students who agreed to starve themselves even if it meant their deaths, lessons they had learned from the hunger strikes of the Irish Republican Army.
In writing Chaos Under Heaven, Gordon Thomas spent four months in China and Hong Kong, and around the Pacific rim, talking to students who escaped the Tiananmen Square massacre. He also interviewed Western diplomats in China and intelligence officers both there and in Washington, London, Paris, and Bonn. In all, he talked to over one hundred people who had been part of the revolution or served within the corridors of power.
Gordon Thomas is the author or coauthor of thirty-one books, five of which have been made into successful motion pictures.
Publishers Weekly Review
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