National Press Club

NPR China correspondent to discuss 1989 Tiananmen uprising at 8/28 book rap

July 30, 2014 | By Nicole Hoffman |

Louisa Lim, NPR’s longtime China correspondent, will discuss and sign copies of her book "The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited" from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the Conference Rooms at the August 28 book rap.

Register here. Tickets are $5 NPC members; $10 public. NPC members should log in for the discounted ticket. This event is a fundraiser for the NPC Journalism Institute. Books must be purchased through the NPC. No outside books or memorabilia permitted. All sales are final; no refunds will be issued.

On June 4, 1989, People's Liberation Army soldiers opened fire on unarmed civilians in Beijing, killing 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 4 changed China, and how China changed the events of June 4 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 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. She also 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.