An electrifying memoir by the blind Chinese activist who inspired millions with the story of his fight for justice and his belief in the cause of freedom
It was like a scene out of a thriller: one morning in April 2012, China's most famous political activist—a blind, self-taught lawyer—climbed over the wall of his heavily guarded home and escaped. Days later, he turned up at the American embassy in Beijing, and only a furious round of high-level negotiations made it possible for him to leave China and begin a new life in the United States.
Chen Guangcheng is a unique figure on the world stage, but his story is even more remarkable than anyone knew. The son of a poor farmer in rural China, blinded by illness when he was an infant, Chen was fortunate to survive a difficult childhood. But despite his disability, he was determined to educate himself and fight for the rights of his country's poor, especially a legion of women who had endured forced sterilizations and abortions under the hated "one child" policy. Repeatedly harassed, beaten, and imprisoned by Chinese authorities, Chen was ultimately placed under house arrest. After nearly two years of increasing danger, he evaded his captors and fled to freedom.
Both a riveting memoir and a revealing portrait of modern China, The Barefoot Lawyer tells the story of a man who has never accepted limits and always believed in the power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle.
As this riveting memoir recounts, Chen grew up poor and blind in rural China, with few realistic expectations for his future. As he grew older, however, his family was able to secure him an education, which included pivotally auditing legal courses. In this way, Chen became more aware of his country's rampant corruption. Readers will be horrified to learn of the official response that greeted Chen's attempts, via protests, to guarantee enforcement of legal protections for the disabled on the books in China: beatings, torture, a multiyear prison stint, and finally, house arrest. He then describes how, defying the odds, he escaped to the American embassy, where he petitioned online communities to support his case and demand his release. At last he broke free and moved, with his family, to the U.S. The picture of the Chinese government that emerges from this story is one of blatant corruption and blind rule-following, brutally punishing prisoners for even minor infractions or requests. Chen has an excellent sense of pace and attention to detail, and he knows how to fill in cultural gaps for those less familiar with China. The result is an eminently readable, albeit chilling memoir that will grip the attention of readers everywhere.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Couldn't put it down. It shows all the flaws and horrors of communism in modern China.
Well done son
Well written.kept my attention.