To Survive is Victory

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

This book tells the story of the author’s parents who helped the communist party succeed in their area. It is a good first hand account of how the underground communist party people, like her father, worked hard to convince the  poor Chinese that this new party would really care for them and change things for good in China. It shows how these  partisans were dedicated and  sacrificed many things  for a cause they believed in. Then after the victory in the Civil War in 1949  these hard working partisans  were maltreated by their own party. 
It is a a very worthwhile read to get to know how how communism worked at the grass-root level and how these underground partisans lived the true communist life only to be betrayed by their own party.
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I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

‘In those days we dedicated our whole lives to The Party. We put it first, before anything else, whether that was family, love, or even life itself. I will tell you a fact about the path my life has taken – "to survive is victory"!’ 

This is the true account of the life of Lin Xiangbei, during a century of tumultuous changes in China. Lin was born in 1918 in Yunan, a small town in north-east Sichuan Province. In 1938, under the influence of a remarkable figure later known as ‘The Double Gun Woman’, Lin became a committed Communist. He worked tirelessly as an underground agent, believing the ideals of Communism would bring a better, fairer society to the people of China. 

But in 1957 Lin was accused of being a ‘Rightist’, spent several years in and out of labour camps, and was almost broken by the experience. Then came the decade-long nightmare that was the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. And yet, through it all, Lin Xiangbei remains committed to the principles of Communism and is proud of his country today. His account gives us not only a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people in twentieth-century China but also an insight into the hardship, fear and insecurity of those years – and the comradeship, self-sacrifice and heroism of the people around him.

This is a staggering book - it is things you only hear about and cannot believe that can happen - but China is not a dragon to be effed with. Look at the current riots in Hong Kong as proof that there are still problems with the government's hold on its citizens. What Li went through can only be appreciated as a true story because if anyone wrote it as fiction, it would not be believed because he stayed committed to  A great read for SERIOUS readers --- this is not an easy read, but it is in important read

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🐉🐉🐉🐉🐉

...yes, I stole the review template from my sister.
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I still can't believe what I read. It was truly a shocking tale of what people go through. In the hill of North Carolina, I am sheltered by all that is good and wholesome but this book threw me into the lives of those inside.  My heart ached at the pain they experienced. I think this book being all over Goodreads would be a good way to get interest and sending it to influencers in return for a review. I found it somewhat hard to read at times but overall, wonderful.
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This was a very well written book. The author’s story is one that is very important and needs to be told and heard. Especially with the political climate around the world, this book is very timely. 

I greatly appreciated how the chapters flowed and connected with another — I realize that it can be a strange thing to point out but I just wanted to say that. 

I definitely recommend this book.
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