Cover image for Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
Simmie, Scott.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Seattle : Univ.of Washington Press, 1989.
Physical Description:
206 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS779.32 .S5 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
DS779.32 .S5 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Canadian journalists Simmie and Nixon were there, and they report the events that took place and the emotions of the crowd, setting the protests of 1989 into an historical and political context. With 16 pages of photos. No bibliography or references. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Already? How fast can people write, anyway? Besides, can any book that comes out just a few months after such a major event as the carnage at Tiananmen Square have any worth beyond shallow reportage? Yes, it can, if that book was already under way as a study of Chinese intellectuals over the past 20 years when its authors were swept up in the excruciating events of June in Beijing. Simmie and Nixon's original book, incorporated into this one, deepens our understanding of what was at issue in Tiananmen Square. The students, unlike their American peers, were not destined to lead privileged lives--not in a country where a full professor makes a salary equivalent to that of a beginning maid at a Western hotel. Their tragedy was shared by their class, for older professionals, who had begun to experience an improved political climate during the last decade, now face a return to repression. This book deserves a wide readership; it combines an impressive piece of scholarship with a gripping eyewitness account of a sad historical moment. Maps, chronology; to be indexed. --Pat Monaghan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Simmie and Nixon, Canadian journalists who have both served as consultants to China Central Television, worked in Beijing for more than a year prior to the student unrest of spring 1989 and the June 4 massacre in Tiananmen Square that abruptly ended an outpouring of democratic sentiment. Their absorbing account of the day-to-day developments of the doomed protest is intercut with portraits of key political figures such as Premier Li Peng and with perspectives on the waxing and waning of various political philosophies during China's volatile 40 years of Communist rule. Black-and-white photos, with the eyes of many subjects obscured to protect their identities, include haunting images of a government warring on its youth. Despite their obvious sympathies for the protesters, an unwieldy cast of characters and occasional lapses into bombast, Simmie and Nixon do justice to the dramatic events that have made Tiananmen Square a watchword for the dangers of free expression under a repressive regime. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

YA-- In China to research Chinese intellectuals, Simmie and Nixon were in the right place at the right time to document chronologically the student democracy movement that began with hopes of political tolerance and ended in a crush of violence in ten bloody hours. With a working knowledge of the Chinese media, the authors show how the Chinese government used newspapers and television to manipulate events and attempt to exercise some control over the reporting of the massacre. Interviews with students and supporters who took part in the demonstrations make the events come alive, showing how the participants realized the consequences of their continued protest, yet were determined to continue their struggle. A timely addition to current events or world-history shelves. --Gwen Salama, Hastings High School, Alief I.S.D., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Simmie and Nixon (both former China Central Television consultants, Simmie returning as a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reporter in May 1989) have written by far the best and most moving account of the Tiananmen movement in Beijing. Into detailed and objective accounts of the events of April to June, 1989, the authors weave interviews conducted with various Chinese intellectuals and artists in 1988 to set the movement in excellent historical context. From the anti-Hu Feng campaign of 1955, through the Cultural Revolution, to the Deng era, the interviews give readers a clear and highly moving background to the 1989 demonstrations and massacre, which the authors carefully piece together from their own and others' eyewitness accounts. Marred only by a lack of notes and bibliography (for sources and documents, readers could look to Beijing Spring, 1989, ed. by Michel Oksenberg and Marc Lambert, 1990), the authors nevertheless provide translations of key speeches and pamphlets at appropriate points. Maps; chronology. Highly recommended for all audiences. -J. A. Rapp, Beloit College