(The print edition of the book was published under the same title in 1999 by Oxford University Press, Hong Kong. The following reviews refer to this edition.)

Through the personal experiences of Chinese people at crucial periods of the past 50 years, outsiders can gain a better understanding of what life was like in China during such remarkable periods as the Great Leap Forward or the Cultural Revolution. (…) China Remembers is an apt testimonial to the trials, tribulations, great successes and great failures experienced by the Chinese people in the latter half of the 20th century. It will be of interest to those who are already familiar with China and Chinese politics and those who are just beginners, and university lecturers on contemporary Chinese politics may want to consider including some of the interviews as supplementary readings for their courses. The book will take on a special value in years to come, when living witnesses to the events of the past are long since dead and buried.”                                                                                                    

(Anne-Marie Brady, THE CHINA JOURNAL, January 2001)


China’s Communist leadership has worked hard to obliterate the dark side of its 50 years in power and present a cleansed report of the tumult and revolution. But Calum MacLeod and Zhang Lijia have managed to throw a spanner in the works by producing an unvarnished history of modern China. They amassed a remarkable collection of first-hand accounts of the crackdowns and campaigns that shaped the nation since Mao Zedong declared China as the People’s Republic on October 1, 1949. (…) The frank, approachable testimonies of the people in China Remembers are bolstered by the extensive knowledge of both authors.

(Lorien Holland, FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVIEW, November 4, 1999)


As the People’s Republic of China celebrates its 50th anniversary and looks toward the 21st century, Zhang Lijia and Calum MacLeod present a fascinating portrait of the past five decades of reform in China through the lives of ordinary people. (…) In general, the editors of this book are less concerned to paint a picture of the ideological battles that have been, and continue to be, fought in China than to present the human response to suffering against a backdrop of political reform. As such, they provide a compilation of individual perspectives on and assessments of historical and political developments.               

(Fiona Webster, THE JAPAN TIMES,  September 29, 1999)