Tiananmen Exiles

Voices of the Struggle for Democracy in China

  • Authors
  • Rowena Xiaoqing He

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Oral History book series (PSOH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Rowena Xiaoqing He
      Pages 3-11
    3. Rowena Xiaoqing He
      Pages 13-36
    4. Rowena Xiaoqing He
      Pages 37-57
  3. Triumph and Trauma

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 59-59
    2. Rowena Xiaoqing He
      Pages 61-85
    3. Rowena Xiaoqing He
      Pages 87-112
    4. Rowena Xiaoqing He
      Pages 113-143
    5. Rowena Xiaoqing He
      Pages 145-165
  4. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 167-167
    2. Rowena Xiaoqing He
      Pages 169-177
    3. Rowena Xiaoqing He
      Pages 179-182
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 183-212

About this book


In the spring of 1989, millions of citizens across China took to the streets in a nationwide uprising against government corruption and authoritarian rule. What began with widespread hope for political reform ended with the People's Liberation Army firing on unarmed citizens in the capital city of Beijing, and those leaders who survived the crackdown became wanted criminals overnight. Among the witnesses to this unprecedented popular movement was Rowena Xiaoqing He, who would later join former student leaders and other exiles in North America, where she has worked tirelessly for over a decade to keep the memory of the Tiananmen Movement alive.

This moving oral history interweaves He's own experiences with the accounts of three student leaders exiled from China. Here, in their own words, they describe their childhoods during Mao's Cultural Revolution, their political activism, the bitter disappointments of 1989, and the profound contradictions and challenges they face as exiles. Variously labeled as heroes, victims, and traitors in the years after Tiananmen, these individuals tell difficult stories of thwarted ideals and disconnection, but that nonetheless embody the hope for a freer China and a more just world.


1989 bibliography China democracy revolution

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 2014
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages Palgrave History Collection
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-43831-7
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-43832-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site