Our Man in Beijing

Edwin Moise

  • Breakfast with Mao: Memoirs of a Foreign Correspondent by Alan Winnington
    Lawrence and Wishart, 255 pp, £12.50, March 1986, ISBN 0 85315 652 2
  • Behind the Forbidden Door: Travels in China by Tiziano Terzani
    Allen and Unwin, 270 pp, £11.95, March 1986, ISBN 0 04 951025 8

Alan Winnington, a member of the British Communist Party from the early Thirties, went to China in 1948 as a correspondent for the Daily Worker, and lived there for most of the next 12 years. His autobiography runs from his childhood up to his departure from China in 1960. He comes across as a likeable man, and he has written a marvellously readable memoir, but it has the failings one would expect of a book written twenty to thirty years after the events it describes, by a man of passionate political loyalties, who died before he could finish the manuscript or check the accuracy of the parts written from memory.

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