Considering the great influence textbooks have as interpreters of history, politics and culture to future generations of citizens, it is no surprise that they generate considerable controversy. Focusing largely on textbook treatment of lingering - and sometimes explosive - tensions originating in World War II, "Censoring History" addresses issues of textbook nationalism in historical and comparative perspective. Discussions include Japan's Comfort Women and the Nanjing Massacre; Nazi genocide against the Jews, Gypsies, Catholics and others; Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Indochina wars. The essays address controversies over textbook content around the globe: How and why do specific representations of war evolve? What are the international and national forces affecting how textbook writers, publishers and state censors depict the past? How do these forces differ from country to country? Other comparative essays analyze nationalist and war controversies in German, US and Chinese textbook debates.
This is a collection of interviews with 26 writers of China's "zhiqing" generation, relatively young artists who participated in the Cultural Revolution as teen-age Red Guards, suffered through the subsequent rustication of intellectual youth, and eventually returned to relatively normal lives, but always with a tragic hiatus haunting their formative years. While one goal of Professor Leung is to introduce to the West an important group of writers little-known outside China, she also aims to succeed, through the interviews, in providing a special perspective on the devastating political history of China over the past 20 years through the eyes of its keenest observers and in offering a perspective on the social, political and cultural milieu of the period.