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Beschreibung des Verlags
Follow the story of China's infamous June Fourth Incident—otherwise known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre—from the first-hand account of a young sociology teacher who witnessed it all. Over 30 years ago, on April 15th, 1989, the occupation of Tiananmen Square began. As tens of thousands of students and concerned Chinese citizens took to the streets demanding political reforms, the fate of China's communist system was unknown. When reports of soldiers marching into Beijing to suppress the protests reverberated across Western airwaves, the world didn't know what to expect. Lun Zhang was just a young sociology teacher then, in charge of management and safety service for the protests. Now, in this powerful graphic novel, Zhang pairs with French journalist and Asia specialist Adrien Gombeaud and artist Ameziane, to share his unvarnished memory of this crucial moment in world history for the first time. Providing comprehensive coverage of the 1989 protests that ended in bloodshed and drew global scrutiny, Zhang includes context for these explosive events, sympathetically depicting a world of discontented, idealistic, activist Chinese youth rarely portrayed in Western media. Many voices and viewpoints are on display, from Western journalists to Chinese administrators. Describing how the hope of a generation was shattered when authorities opened fire on protestors and bystanders, Tiananmen 1989 shows the way in which contemporary China shaped itself.
While "Tiananmen" calls up the famous image of a single citizen facing down a tank, Zhang's information-dense graphic memoir, cowritten with journalist Gombeaud, details the larger student-led movement for political reform behind the protest that culminated in the Chinese military killing hundreds, perhaps thousands, at Tiananmen Square. A young professor at the time, Zhang describes how earnest young leaders formulated demands to further the cause of democracy in China, heady with readings from the French Enlightenment. Their idealism collides with the gritty realities of hunger strikes, the privations of living outdoors, and chaos from internal disagreements. The overambitious scope keeps the narrative from hitting a stride, and its dual purpose as educational and personal history chafes against the slim page count, overstuffing the comics format. Zhang is often depicted on a stage delivering large blocks of dialogue, and the scene of the bloody climax of the protest is given over to the words of a BBC reporter, while text boxes overlay tantalizing glimpses of the exuberance and exhaustion of the protesters, who seem to beg to be the focus of the story. While the effort gives due context to the protest, readers looking for emotional resonance may be left disappointed. \n