Cover Image: To Survive is Victory

To Survive is Victory

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Member Reviews

Vivid, shocking and fascinating book - and a record from a place and period I don't know much about. I think the writing style is masterly and the translation sensitive and well done. Highly recommended
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To Survive is Victory is a marvelous story. I am endlessly fascinated by stories such as this. The author was born in 1918 and witnessed most of the major transformational periods in Chinese history.  He became a member of the Communist Party and then paid for his earlier life during the heinous Cultiral Revolution. His youngest daughter also assisted with the writing. I enjoyed his story and appreciated the updates concerning family members at the end.
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Wow, a fantastic read. I was truly engrossed. China in the 20th century was a challenging time and to read it from Lin’s point of view was fascinating. This must be one of the most moving books I’ve read in 20 years
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With all due respect to Ms. Lin Ping and her dad Mr. Xiangbei, this book would be a good archive for father's children and grand-children and great grand children. It is a vanity / prestige family project where Mr. Xiangbei is remembering every person who lived and died in the first forty years of his life, as well as what happened during his various job titles. Some tit bits are interesting but there is nothing here for an ordinary, curious reader who wants to have a bird's eye view of a time gone by, cultural and political upheavals are all just post-scripts (the post-1950 ones are mostly skimmed through) and one Zhazidong Prison fire / massacre of 1948 and some of its victims are mentioned in detail, but that's about it. It actually feels like he ran out of steam narrating 1948 and 60s, 70s and 80s are just short chapters (and Ms. Ping alludes to something similar at the end of the book in 'Epilogue').

There are also more pictures of Mr. Xiangbei's mother-in-law (some famous Communist revolutionary) than him or his family - and there is no current picture of him with his family. In fact there are very few pictures here.

But all the best to Mr. Xiangbei and his family, and hopefully he'll have peaceful and painless nineties.
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I really enjoyed this, and am pleased to say that it kept my attention from beginning to end.  There is a lot to consider whilst reading this book, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
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This book tells the story of Lin Xiangbei and shows what life was like in 20th century China.  

I enjoyed this book a lot.  It was nice to see China's history and how one man survived it.

Would definitely recommend if you enjoy history.
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I found this to be a very interesting and well-written account of one man's life surviving through the turmoil of China's political chaos. I reccomend reading this book if you are the least bit interested in the evolution of China's political history from the viewpoint of a man who lived and survived to tell his story as he experienced life. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing a copy of this book to read and review.  Opinions expressed in the review are my own.
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What an Great touching true life account. I love a good memors. About the communist lives (communism) I recommend for serious readers (political).
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC copy
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Excellently written. A book that needs to be read about a story that needs to be heard. 
Insightful, deep, honest, raw. 
A must read.
Thank you to both NetGalley and publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my review
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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 Communism..wow.  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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