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July 18, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

SKETCHES IN WINTER: A Beijing Postscript by Charles Foran (HarperPerennial: $12; 210 pp.). A Canadian English teacher at a Beijing university, Charles Foran witnessed the events leading up to the Tiananmen Square uprising and its aftermath. Foran saw friends and students risk their lives for a chance to escape the stifling bureaucracy and repressive policies of the Chinese government--and saw their hopes crushed when the regime brutally reasserted its authority. His often moving account of life in Beijing reveals the corruption of the Chinese political system and the despair it engenders. Foran concludes that for the party rulers, "The goal was to present citizens with a cell--small, windowless, door ajar--and then manipulate, indoctrinate and harass them until they entered the chamber without prompting, clicking the lock shut behind themselves."

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