by Ji-li Jiang
In 1966, Ji-li Jiang was twelve years old. An outstanding student and leader in her school, she had everything: brains, ability, the admiration of her peers--and a shining future in Chairman Mao's New China. But all that changed with the advent of the Cultural Revolution, when intelligence became a crime and a wealthy family background invited persecution or worse. For the next few years, Ji-li and her family were humiliated and reviled by their former friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and lived in constant terror of arrest. At last, with the detention of her father, Ji-li was faced with the most dreadful decision of her life: denounce him and break with her family, or refuse to testify and sacrifice her future in her beloved Communist Party. This memoir gives a child's-eye view of a terrifying time in twentieth-century history and one family's courage under fire.