Go here and open the pdf file. A beautiful portrait of the Cultural Revolution by one of my very favorite bloggers Xujun Eberlein, whose older sister drowned in 1968 as she paid tribute to Chairman Mao’s famous swim up the Yangtze. Just beautiful. Aging members of different factions of the Red Guard share memories, and we almost understand how these people surrendered their critical faculties and followed Mao on the road to catastrophe. Almost. They were “well meaning” and idealistic. And they ruined countless lives along the way, often their own as well.
I know, in the Twitter age it seems like a burden to open a pdf file and read an actual essay, but this is more than worth it. Mesmerizing.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.