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Being there

Ian Hamilton, 7 October 1993

Up at Oxford 
by Ved Mehta.
Murray, 432 pp., £17.99, September 1993, 0 7195 5287 7
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... His three best friends, he tells us, were Wykehamists of mind-boggling precocity: Roger Scott, Alasdair Clayre and Richard Snedden. Each of them had been head-boy at Winchester and had won all the top school prizes; each now ‘seemed destined for great things’ – starred Firsts, fellowships at All Souls, spoils which to Ved were glorious ...

Some must get rich first

Colin Legum, 15 March 1984

The Heart of the Dragon 
by Alasdair Clayre.
Harvill, 281 pp., £12.95, January 1984, 0 00 272115 5
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The Origins of the Cultural Revolution. Vol. II: The Great Leap Forward 1958-1960 
by Roderick MacFarquhar.
Oxford, 470 pp., £22.50, June 1983, 0 19 214996 2
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Son of the Revolution 
by Liang Heng and Judith Shapiro.
Chatto, 301 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 7011 2751 1
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Shenfan 
by William Hinton.
Secker, 789 pp., £15.95, November 1983, 0 436 19630 1
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The Messiah and the Mandarins 
by Dennis Bloodworth.
Weidenfeld, 331 pp., £9.95, October 1982, 0 297 78054 9
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The Cambridge History of China. Vol. XII: Republican China 1912-1949, Part I 
edited by John Fairbank.
Cambridge, 1002 pp., £50, October 1983, 0 521 23541 3
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The Middle Kingdom: Inside China Today 
by Erwin Wickert.
Harvill, 397 pp., £12.50, August 1983, 0 00 272113 9
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... in The Heart of the Dragon, the excellent book based on the television series prepared by Alasdair Clayre, who died shortly before it was published. Although the quest for modernisation began a century ago under the Ch’ing Dynasty statesman, Chang Chih-tung (1837-1909), and was pursued with fervour by Mao, his own commitment to egalitarianism ...

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