Wild Swans

Three Daughters of China

Chang, Jung

Book - 2003
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Wild Swans
The story of three generations in twentieth-century China that blends the intimacy of memoir and the panoramic sweep of eyewitness history-a bestselling classic in thirty languages with more than ten million copies sold around the world, now with a new introduction from the author. An engrossing record of Mao's impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love, Jung Chang describes the extraordinary lives and experiences of her family members: her grandmother, a warlord's concubine; her mother's struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents' experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution. Chang was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen, then worked as a peasant, a "barefoot doctor," a steelworker, and an electrician. As the story of each generation unfolds, Chang captures in gripping, moving-and ultimately uplifting-detail the cycles of violent drama visited on her own family and millions of others caught in the whirlwind of history.

Publisher: New York : Touchstone, 2003
Edition: 1st Touchstone ed
ISBN: 9780743246989
Branch Call Number: 951.05 C4555w 2003
Characteristics: 538 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill., map ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

Blending the intimacy of memoir and the panoramic sweep of eyewitness history, "Wild Swans" has become a bestselling classic in thirty languages, with more than ten million copies sold. The story of three generations in twentieth-century China, it is an engrossing record of Mao's impact... Read More »

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From turn of the century China through the 1980's Chang traces 3 generations of women. Her grandmother born in 1907 was a concubine as a young girl, her mother was a Communist party member and official, and she was a member of the Red Guards in the
late 1960's. China’s evolution from a feudal society to present day told through the experiences of one family brings to life the incredible hardships and successes that have shaped the country. An informative read for anyone interested in recent Chinese history.

Sep 07, 2013
  • OhioEngineer rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a great book. It is both a very interesting story and a timely account of what can happen when an all powerful government takes over the lives of a people. As China emerges as a world power this should be required reading for Americans. While it only covers the period through the Cultural Revolution (1970's), the same party and government is in power today as was then. It will do us well to never forget this.

Jun 08, 2013
  • squinton rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A very interesting story. It really made me appreciate the freedom we enjoy here in Canada. If you're looking for a first-hand account of recent Chinese history this is a great book to turn to.

Mar 06, 2013
  • d2013 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Gripping story of 3 generations of women during the Mao era. A good read.

Aug 05, 2012
  • sunny143 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A very interesting look at China's history ad told through the experiences of one family. Unfortunately the author's writing is very dry so it feels like you are plodding through some terrible chore. I am not disappointed that I read the book but I'd rather go to the dentist than read it again.

Jan 20, 2011

The history of China during the Mao era

Sep 07, 2010
  • lisastitch rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A fascinating look at three generations of Chinese women, from Chang's grandmother with bound feet who was a warlord's concubine; her mother, who was an active Communist but suffered under the Cultural Revolution, to the author herself, who chronicles her family's survival through a century of disaster.


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