Disturbing aspect to me came from seeing how

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disturbing aspect to me came from seeing how desperate families can turn upon each other so horribly. Young girls were sold as slaves, concubines, prostitutes, or worse, simply meat to be eaten. Becker accomplishes his goal quite soundly. He manages to clearly demonstrate the failings of the communist system of collectivization, and shows the true impact of Mao's Great Leap Forward. He also manages to discredit westerners who had attempted to belittle the loss of life in this tragedy. However, what I think Becker did best was convey the absolute sense of dread and horror that pervaded these times. Choices like whether or not to sell your daughter to feed your son or to kill your own infant so your family might eat for awhile are stomach churning to me. Becker managed to cast a spotlight on a often forgotten aspect of history, and despite, or perhaps because of, the terrible loss of life it must be remembered. 1. Could such a famine ever happen in America? 2. How would we handle such an event in America? 3. Are there any similarities between communal dining in Russia and in China?
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  • Spring '12
  • Rosenthal
  • History, Mao Zedong, People's Republic of China, Jasper Becker, Secret Famine, Jasper Becker author

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Christopher Reinemann
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