The Tiananmen protests and Beijing massacre of 1989 were a major turning point in recent Chinese history. In this new analysis of 1989, Jeremy Brown tells the vivid stories of participants and victims, exploring the nationwide scope of the democracy movement and the brutal crackdown that crushed it. At each critical juncture in the spring of 1989, demonstrators and decision makers agonized over difficult choices and saw how events could have unfolded differently. The alternative paths that participants imagined confirm that bloodshed was neither inevitable nor necessary. Using a wide range of previously untapped sources and examining how ordinary citizens throughout China experienced the crackdown after the massacre, this ambitious social history sheds fresh light on events that continue to reverberate in China to this day.
Jeremy Brown is Professor of History at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada