On June 4, 1989, People's Liberation Army soldiers opened fire on unarmed civilians in Beijing, killing untold hundreds of people. A quarter-century later, this defining event remains buried in China's modern history, successfully expunged from collective memory. In "The People's Republic of Amnesia," NPR correspondent Louisa Lim charts how the events of June 4th changed China, and how China changed the events of June 4th by rewriting its own history.
Lim reveals new details about those fateful days, including how one of the country's most senior politicians lost a family member to an army bullet, as well as the inside story of the young soldiers sent to clear Tiananmen Square. She also introduces us to individuals whose lives were transformed by the events of Tiananmen Square, such as a founder of the Tiananmen Mothers, whose son was shot by martial law troops; and one of the most important government officials in the country, who post-Tiananmen became one of its most prominent dissidents. And she examines how June 4th shaped China's national identity, fostering a generation of young nationalists, who know little and care less about 1989.
Louisa Lim is an award-winning journalist who has reported from China for a decade, most recently for National Public Radio. Previously she was the BBC’s Beijing Correspondent.
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National Press Club Journalism Institute
The mission of the non-profit National Press Club Journalism Institute is to train communications professionals in a changing media environment, provide scholarships to the next generation of journalists, recognize excellence in journalism, house the records of the history of journalism in the nation’s capital and promote a free press, the cornerstone of a free society.
Located in the Eric Friedheim Library of the prestigious National Press Club in downtown Washington, D.C., the Institute is the premier research, reference and education venue for journalists, historians, academics and students in the nation’s capital.