tv Scott Tong A Village with My Name CSPAN May 30, 2018 9:07pm-10:07pm EDT
they attend a british boarding school in the second you put them back in a natural environment they get all tribal and they kill each other fire and they each other. that's humanity. >> in "a village with my name" scott tong talks about what is changed in china since the communist takeover in 1949. it's just under an hour. >> no everybody and welcome to kramer puts the thank you all for coming out tonight. i'm really excited to have scott tong with this book "a village with my name" and i'm very excited to welcome charles freeman who we will be in conversation with. scott tong has recorded from a
dozen countries. take focus on energy the environment and natural resources in the global economy. charles freeman is one of the foremost international authorities on chinese autonomy and has been helping companies navigate complex markets in the asia-pacific are or 25 years. please join me in welcoming scott and charles. [applause] >> i guess si get to kick this off which is a thrill in addition to being one of the foremost authorities in my real life. i am a china and history and culture geek so i'm absolutely thrilled. perhaps because of me the wisdom may have -- ron.
>> in my day job i run the temple of -- i do want to say for those of you that are fans of people's histories this is a sensational book. so much of what we read about china as you know from the 50,000 at level whether it's dynasties rising and falling or presidents declaring themselves emperor for life or whatever it might he. you rarely get a chance to look and see how people lived on a day-to-day basis and how people have lived through cataclysms and sweeping changes of history and what scott has done is to
produce a really interesting piece on that and you know it starts, and i will shut up now, it starts with scott trying to find his ancestral home, village with his name and it's a really interesting expiration and the way back in time. >> in the origins of pursuing this book exactly as you describe reported by me if you go to a place in china reporting day-to-day right now, right now things and we have kind of fallen into the skyscraper syndrome problem where china just seems to be this right now thing. it's a miracle and we don't spend enough time pulling back and after four years in china to me i didn't have a good enough understanding of where the story
began or a little bit of the history, history of such a contested space in china. i have a suspicion that some of the members and my family tree were connected to this longer story of how china got here. the story of china has been a long arrival and a long complicated relationship with the outside world. it began in 2009. i was living in china with my wife and three children. my folks came over immigrants from china but they had been in the state for 50 years. none of us hardly knew anything about the village. supposedly it's where my great-grandfather first left. his last name is tong. our name is unusual in china. it's child's.
he tried to learn something about what happened there so how many of you have been to china before? i'm sure there'll be a number of hands here who lived in china before. five at least and what often happens is when you look for a place you will suddenly realize eight hours later that we haven't gotten very far. when we were living there it was before gps and we were going north and houzhou province. when you tell people in china you are from their two things happen. first of all they say the former prime minister premier zhou en-lai is from their and both of you not approval and the conversation stops. there's nothing particularly redeeming about that part is in time and it's a poor part of her rich province in eastern china
along with the grand canal. my father and i are there and i will read a little bit from here just to give you an idea. >> it's not the only time to that there's a lot of great stuff. >> i will kind of describe the madness of dealing with china and i know some of my chinese friends will hopefully identify with this. the place i was looking for the old name of the village when obsolete in 1949 the communistic the mainland and proceeded to rewrite history and street names and town names. a local registry in new york city no one had ever heard of the place or of any tong's mary. it will play station officers said little and offered less. we went to strangers pedestrians cabbies food peddlers for some sign that quickly the inquiries
took on the protectable sequence i approach a middle-aged male. before he can talk his way ipods quickly. if you spot your. not hesitate. the man repeats the words out loud and he says it. times is loud. why are you going there? it's our old home. i'm going to skip to the man moving on to third topic. it's too crowded and too chaotic he says.
for this i have no argument. are you hereby your selfie asked. i said no my father is with me in the car. he also lives in america. another pause. it's not very clear so i move on. i have lived in china often often for more than seven years had. taken years of mandarin lessons i can recite a dynasty poem. my understanding of china is -- in a literal sense the phrase means it's not very clear but it has linguistic looks ability. every ability. every time aggress the new context for the phrase of turns up in a new way. i can't help you i don't know i won't help you know and i'm moving on now. the paradox of china's people make declaring that declaratory
statements with absolute certainty. so just to complete the circle very quickly we are spinning our wheels my father and i and 2009 and finally my assistant calls from shanghai five hours away and she's as you know i think i found something. there's a town that seems to be close to the village you are looking for so we go to the town and we find this guy and we ask them have you heard of this place needs as well i haven't lived here too long but i know a guy. he gets into the van so now there is a driver and my dad and me. he calls his friend who is on the outskirts of this little town and we drive there. a friend to the native from their says yeah this is really familiar but i know a guy and he'll know exactly where it is.
we go pick up the third person and when he gets into the car it's quiet like it priest is just walked into the vehicle and stepped in because it's the party secretary. that's the most important cadre member of the communist party even in this little place the most important person. he leads us to the village which is a very basic place. it's certainly not paved and the house is are raised. each home has a little plot of land to grow vegetables. there is no separate structure for the bathroom and a separate structure for cooking. you've been in these basic chinese villages before and the basic economics are if you can bring some into the city to make money and send it back to the city. what we learned about my
great-grandfather is in the late 1800's he was part of this early scholar generation. this is toward the end of imperial china and some of the intellectuals are going to most moderate places to learn about the ideas on the outside and how they can help china invests in japan. >> china's modernity stems from migration in japan. i just want to say in addition to your grandfather's experience this interrelationship between your family and that drive happens that the process. >> the starting point is this is a critical moment in chinese history. as you know this is when the
hybrid chan needs -- chinese nationals connected to the outside world interact with these modern ideas with darwinism, feminism, marxism. this is when china came late to number these ideas and when they were first introduced through nationalism and this is one of the early moments before was introduced to the chinese people. obviously it's not the whole part of the story but some were planted here and certain citizens the island of modernity. what i came away with from this is what we are seeing in china today is a continuation of the modernizing process from a long time ago rather than this instant china story. >> when you do get to the village and i think your
exposition of the phrase is true for a lot of us and are as westerners when we hear that. we are not allowed to go further >> it's a great conversation stopper. you did meet a relative and the story of your relatives position in the village is uniquely tied to you on family history. can you history. kenny talk about that will little? >> it is. my great-grandfather went to university in tokyo and studied law. we learned he married a japanese wife. this was my great-grandmother. this comes to a great surprise to us chinese in the village. you discover these things and you start with the parents. he comes back and we are learning things about him and we
have this celebratory lunch in the village for but some of the important cadres and the people there. there's one man who was the closest person to us in the family tree. he's my third cousin and things happen very quickly and they don't realize he's been excluded from his lunch. before we leave he says next time you come do it at my house so you can get the real story. when my great-grandfather was there everyone's last name is tong in the village. we are going around and my father is introducing himself. what is your honorable last name and the first person says their name. we keep finding these coincidences. soon they are looking at us like everybody has the same last name
and we are the last people to realize that everybody's name is the same here. the smallest and poorest kind of village and his house and most of the houses have been berg structures and opening through the windows. in the case of my third cousin he doesn't have enough money for the windows. but the real story is earlier on our branch of the village were the scholars and the probable reason my great-grandfather was there in the first place and when the communists took over intellectuals and the wealthy, the peasants, the rich farmers the capitalists all these people for toward the top of society were suddenly at the bottom and the same thing happened this little village. anyone connected to my
great-grandfather suddenly was punished because of that connection and because of this on my grandfather who was on the anti-communist side of the chinese civil war. this third cousin is on the poor side of the village and the sad part of the story is given away china works today in the countryside there's not much of a safety net and not much medical care. i saw him again a couple of years later to give his version of the story. i had to get up from his daughters because he was dying. he didn't last long after that but his daughter did say that urged that the story you for scott when he came a lot of that is not true and the man who hosted you when you first got there for this great lunch, while we hate him. you have to go back twice. >> or more than twice in your case. one of the things i enjoyed about the book is watching people's individual histories
that you described, your relatives and seeing how they related to the challenges that they were going through. your third cousin's kid, i was struck by this description of making it farther up the social totem pole as it were but there's a poignant place where you talk to your old ie and she ask you did you give them any money? can you talk about that? >> sure. i am living in the tong village in 2013 or so and it turns out her nanny when we were living in shanghai as she is from part of the same province. i'm going back to shanghai and we are going to fly back to the
states. i get on the bus that's going back to shanghai and my nanny is already on there. so i get on and it's one of those crazy stories from around the world where i'm walking halfway up and then a hand comes out like a tollbooth and it's the grandfather who son is sitting across the aisle of this bus so i wait. i finally get there and i sit with her and she asked me how the trip went and she says well did you offer them any money? you know she had been our nanny, or employee as it were the only place where public radio can have a nanny. she said these are your people
back in the village. did you give them any money and i said no. we have offered money and they often say no but i did not offer them money. you it's only time she said well, you should have. i told her they are not going to say yes. they are going to find a way to not take it which is often the case in china. i said i will try but i know they are going to take the money. we get back to shanghai and i call this man's daughter back in the village and said i have decided and declare that i'm going to send some money. i'm waiting for her to say no or to push it off and she says okay here's my bank account. [laughter] so she is ready.
you make mistakes that you don't even realize when you go to one of these places. you cross this "from arms and let somebody sets you straight sometimes you don't realize what you have done. >> i want to turn the corner because one of the most compelling and tragic figures in the book is your maternal grandfather. there is a period becomes from before the revolution that cultivated in the communist party in 1949 and thereafter where the japanese are in a brutal fashion taking over a big chunk of the country. your grandfather, your maternal grandfather decides to be a corroborate her and faces plenty
of challenges after the fact but he has a lot of chances to get out. i was fascinated by his decision not to get out and he could continue to be productive and work in the country even after he's perceived as being a pro japanese government official. >> my maternal grandfather was born in 1940s of this is world war ii in asia and the japanese have occupied a lot of eastern and a lot of china since 1937. they are occupying the city in central china that is my mother's home city. this is a metropolis. they called themselves the chicago of china. so he is offered a job to go back there. nobody realizes what's going on and he goes back to work for the
japanese occupation. the documents bear this out. we didn't know much of the story and when i started to chase those i was on a trip back with my mother with her father and she says well you know this should not go in the book because it's embarrassing and shameful and like a lot of society shame is the great silencer in the family and what am i going to say. then we learn a lot of information. we learn that my grandfather was in the division that was the first distribution. we also learned when we go back to the city and we asked him what was happening during this japanese occupation and we asked about there have been a few collaborators who were here. this is a little bit like what the french have discovered since world war ii. it's not that this idea that
there were a few collaborators and everyone else was at resisting. that's not what happened here. just about everyone sitting on the fence waiting for what was going to happen and once i started introducing some other people said someone in my family was a collaborators well so that it gets kind of fuzzy. he spoke to some historians of this period, chinese historians and they kind of describe different reasons people would decide to take this kind of job. perhaps they were ideologically aligned with japanese a small percentage of people who collaborated or some of them were blackmailed into doing it. some people had to feed the family. the harvest was terrific in 1941 so there were a lot of different reasons people chose this.
what we do know is and again this is in the middle of world war ii he could support his mother who was a widow and his sister-in-law who was a widow and the thing about these decisions in the war is if you choose, if you end up choosing the winning side you are a partner and if you end up choosing the losing side your astute and if you don't know that in real time as far as writing history the winners get to write history and the winners in taiwan and the winners in the mainland both of their founding myths are they to fight -- defeated the japanese so anyone associated is on the losing side finally when my mother's family left shanghai ahead of the communists this is about a decade later and her father he is at risk of being arrested but
he goes back and forth. after the communists took over china what we learned is the border was the corridor between the mainland and shanghai and hong kong that stayed open for a couple of years. the communists wanted to keep the was there to help run the place to my grandfather went back to shanghai to run the school so that was the family business. everyone else is in a refugee camp in the territory of hong kong. he made the decision that it was going to be okay to go back and forth and obviously was the wrong decision. also learned that he got arrested in the early 50's and was sent to this notorious jail and shanghai that was the siberia of china which was shanghai. when i went out there, the great
moment when i went out there was a went to this heroic bureaucrat in china they tend to be used in the same sentence. a lot of chinese are trying to find people who disappeared and never came back. my grandfather disappeared and never came back. you go to the site and you scoop up some of the soil and i eyes people to bring up back and at least you have somewhere in the world to remember that person. i relate all of this to my mom who can exercise her maternal red pen to the book and in the end she says a lot of chinese people have the same version of the story and she gave permission. that's important to include. >> he right towards the end of the book letters from qinghai and i don't know if you are
prepared to read a little bit. these aren't actually real letters but they are very good. >> there are a lot of family letters that i come across. my grandmother went to school run by an american so fascinating story in 1911. we have a lot of letters in an audio tape of her actually from 1971 which were remarkable. >> i don't mean to put you on the spot. >> i just need to find them here. the excerpt throughout the book were from different letters. no one in the family heard back from my grandfather who was a prisoner there so this is what i imagine he wrote. give me a second to find it.
>> one of the fascinating things about this book is just the personal nature of the characters with these enormous historical phenomena that are going on. his grandmother is caught for example in the great flood of 1931 which was larger than the largest flood in the united states and killed as you know a number of people the equivalent of new orleans. there were all these by happenstance or because this is the nature things his family members went through this rather remarkable periods of time. >> these letters, a lot of these places are lifted from other prisoners who survived in that period of time and didn't want to be named. and i imagined what my grandfather wrote but it's held
some of the former prisoners described it. 1959, this is my imagined letter from my grandfather to his wife and since probably the last year of his life. i think i would survive his 18 year sentence. the food is so scarce now. this is during the great famine in china. as you may know somewhere around 40 million people died. grand rations are half of what they were a few years ago. many don't want to work anymore because they are too weak. for now i can keep going but barely. we try to focus on any -- it's hard to focus on anything because we are thinking of hunger and food. a horse goes five pulling a body in a sheet wrapped up. there are gets just shallow graves done haphazardly because the men are dying so fast.
not too long ago i saw the children pay assume everyone is still alive. by now his two older children are adults of 20 and anna, my mom must be 60 or 70 by nobody can believe what i've missed. likely my mother's gone by now. we have run out of hope you're a no ideas for new and strong china. the leader in china in the 40s is the collaborator. i fear he may have been right and the end of the chapter these are my words my grandfather died either during the famine are just before it hit. >> we talked about this and i don't know if you have questions or comments but we talked before this. one of the things that foreigners like myself are not allowed to talk about is positive influence of western
civilization in china and so many of your relatives really struggled and so many of their experiences are deriving knowledge or in some cases spirituality from westerners who are in china. talk about that process of discovery for you. >> yes. to be sure this is a version of the history. i try not to present this as a b version of the story because the narrative from the government in china is like the era of the century of humiliation this fall before the redemption and the communists party brought their redemption. that's the basic framing of history. this kind of the story in china
automatically is going to collide into that. it will give the appearance of celebrating this colonialism, the these western ideas that have for so long been condensed as holding china down. when i have gone out and spoken to universities in mainline china when the haters come out they bring that point up. this is a version of the story. earlier on historians in china thought about how china developed and later on a lot of the historical research and analytical work was about china reform and the chinese people bringing the change. what is untold are the people who straddle mainland on the
outside and those are people from my family. when chinese doors were opened they were opportunists and when china stores were closed they were the prisoners in the scapegoats and when china reopened in the late 70s and the 80s they were some of the opportunists. so this is part of the story but to be sure if you go back to china and deep though to the language of good percentage of the words, the modern words that came to china actually came from japan because japan was the conduit of some of these early modern ideas they came to china. if you go to a university there's a pretty good chance it was arrested in those early modern period of time to. in my view the communist party built on that in certain ways
with regard to women and women's literacy. certainly some of the early seeds were kind of planted on chinese soil back then. >> i will open it up for questions and comments. >> thank you for being here. on page 132 you reference the now leader of china and his increasing intolerance. as someone who's never been to china in because you are familiar with the country to is that really prevalence and the serious issue that in 2018 there is seriously so much pushback on any kind of internal criticism of the government? in this context i think it was your half uncle that did want you to include certain things. he said it doesn't matter me.
>> did everybody here that? the question as is if they are really serious pushback against criticism and the answer is it's never been more so for any number of reasons. china has had a cataclysmic history and those are the folks that have historically run china and are very familiar with the history. what every leader of china wants is to preserve power and to preserve power in cloudy chasm -- cloudy chasm you have to run a very tight ship. there's a sense that cloudy chasm might be out there and the chinese communist party to preserve its current and future power you need to run a tight ship. and that results unfortunately
in a lot of censorship and a lot of prying eyes into the affairs of others by the government. human rights are a challenge in china and one can understand why politically but it doesn't make it a pleasant place for folks that are on the outside looking in. >> one out observation to add to everything the charles to said was surprising when i first got to china is actually how much freedom so many people have. i've spent a lot of time with my cousins and my dad sort of got left behind. having seen china from the outside i had expected -- i feel a lot more limitations. the way my cousin describes his life it has increased every year
his choice and products. he has this fancy laptop and its dsl our camera. and the consumer retail part of life i was shocked how much freedom there is but as charles just described in your own kitchen you can say a lot of things and if you're in a taxi you fear a lot of things that people say but in a public way you reference one of the prisoners was suggesting you publish his story overseas in the u.s.. in a public way if you say anything that challenges, and this is stuff back to the 50s. this was a long time ago but
this is him telling me that it's something that challenges the party's framing of history. he was scared he was going to get in trouble which is why he didn't want to give his name which is why he did want to publish anything. he said i have a responsibility to history to tell you this but i'm never going to go on record. >> in your voyages there has a become a country of haves and have-nots? there is a lot of poverty still. [inaudible] do you think it's really the haves and the have-nots or is there an emerging class of the hear about? >> there may be people in the room who look at these in empirical ways to the wealth
inequality. when i was there it was on the order of what was happening in north america with that level of equality. a lot of it was along rural versus urban. in a way both are true. there's this emerging consumer class and that's why chinese shoe companies and nike are all competing for the same customer. the general motors kept the buick rand because they had great brand cachet in china. i think both are true. i think there's an emerging consumer class and china still in the middle of this urbanization journey that americans went on 100 years ago so at the same time the spoils
are not shared evenly. >> we worry about the 1% versus the rest of us and their equal concerns about data and equal sides of vulnerability with the communist party as a result of the haves and the have-nots and if you look at for example the anticorruption campaign of xi jinping part of that is trying to reduce the sense that the elites particularly the government elite can get away with anything. so to crackdown and try to reduce the abuses of political power for monetary gain i know that said if you look at its gotten a lot worse in china than it is here now.
did -- it is much more severe in china than it is here. the gap between the poorest and the of the poor and the richest of the rich there or something like 30,000 people still living in caves in china and at this point you have almost as many billionaires in china if not more than you have here. other questions? >> i was curious going back to charles opening remarks about this. after spending this much time drilling down into one small story of a small village in small individuals tying back into that how do you think about china differently now? has it changed at all and i guess how do you think about
china and its future? >> i do. you live in china for a long time before coming back here. my sense is having gone into this microhistory of this is what we are seeing now is to a fair degree i guess a resumption of her process a long time ago this period of opening and some historians go so far as to say the early communist period was an interruption in the period and there's a presumption of something going on. i might not go that far but number one that helps make instead -- contextualize and number two goes along with this notion that when i came back to the states i felt like it did keep telling people that there are all these way ways to measure the china still catching up on a per person basis and it helped me to wonder that catch
up story in many ways. one is why the economy was so weak during the communist period amaya took off so quickly. a lot of scholars say if you were going back to where you were before some of the roots and china were there and the people who were around during these polispace in the 30s they were still around in the outside world. if you go back to its infancy economic historian tom roth talks about it. to me it helped me understand that a little bit more and then finally going back to my grandmother's letters she wrote beautiful letters in cursive english and she updated her life with these teachers that were back in the states one in new york and one in maryland and she
talked about using these ideas to make china strong someday. i think a lot of regular chinese people have been waiting a long time to catch up to use whatever methods they have. in my grandmother's case very western ideas to make china strong again because of how weak it was. to me that's remarkable for someone 17 years old to be thinking about. my life is part of the story. i think i understand a lot more of how many chinese nationals have been waiting a long time desiring for a long time for the chinese to catch up to this industrial revolution that they have missed. and my family like most chinese families a lot of these ancestors and relatives didn't
get to see the china that they helped to build and i got to see it so i got to help tell the story. >> i have taught in china for several years and it seemed like the major cities. [inaudible] if you go to the state university and the western chinese towns. the teachers were expected to teach in that kind of classroom versus a private english classroom. i didn't know if you had any reflection on this. >> i guess the question relates
to the differences between rural and more developed parts of china and the levels of expert patients that one might have for a westerner teaching in that environment or for expectations of teachers generally of students. the main point is china is not a uniform place. when people talk about china they have this picture in their mind of the cities of aging in shanghai or these very rural in very poor parties often which are pretty close together. >> your question to some degree goes to how the system is different than some of these rural places in the bigger cities. >> for example a lot of smaller
towns if they were going to universities and one of the well-known cities like beijing or shanghai going to university and an english major was considered a good thing. a small rural town if you went to an agricultural college english was considered lowly and for a lot of students that was the first generation of students that were able go. >> i guess i have a couple observations of education in the countryside. my father's side and western
china where you were. one of my relatives is a teacher there and what she would talk about is on one hand all the parents wanted their children to learn english. she said the problem is none of the teachers know that it's english. in so many ways the quality of teachers would so buried there and she had stayed around in a town near the village because her father was sick. i had so many teachers who were so frustrated by their lives especially in the countryside where they didn't have many resources and they were really frustrated by the level of students who were there and what frustrated them the most was the expectation that certain parents had.
they would get payments under the table at the parents wanted. somehow they thought they could buy more chick asian for their children there and she said i don't speak english either and so that was one of my favorites. the countrysides deciding how important education is and how frustrated they were. the city of shanghai might -- was a teacher and she quit because of the corruption that was in the system with the teachers as well. she said the principal there kept encouraging teachers, he would have teachers who work his friends do some of the labor or the students would do some of the cleaning in the class. seemed like was a non-merit a system for the teachers and the
students as well which i think from the outside the chinese education system by empirical measure seems to do remarkably. mass numbers coming out of shanghai and that kind of thing. on the inside it seems to me there is so much skepticism about the corruption and the quality of the students in the structural system where so many things are just memorized and it's just a rope memory so the angst to me is how do they teach creativity and independent and critical thinking. for all the problems we have here there is still so much of an emphasis and not just north america but somewhere else. >> i wonder if you came up against authorities. [inaudible]
>> challenges with authorities there. i was wonderfully surprised by authorities in general working on this book. as a foreign journalist in china it can be. adversarial experience and we don't expect much from the aircraft in china. there are different ways to put up a wall to you. when i went back i didn't tell them i was a journalist so i went back and i said i was the grandson going back to china. what was remarkable was these bureaucrats at all these different levels were trying to help me tell the story from the neighborhood police stations where they had presidential records going back 50 or 60 years to the central police station in shanghai where they had information on when my
grandfather was arrested and when his conviction was to the labor camps where this bureaucrat, first of all she said we have all the documents and when i went back the next time she's actually i don't have anything. how many of them were at great risk to themselves. they really wanted to protect them selves. it's pretty low trust society but it was a great surprise how helpful they were. china has his rough exterior. i saw different china when i was working on the book. >> you do have the story of using someone else's student i.d. to go into a library and a cover. >> i was 20 years out of practice in this regard but history is a dated enterprise in china. you go to the archives in a gunta libraries and you need an i.d. and sometimes you need a special letter from somebody. it's not like you can just walk
in. in the case of the university library in central china there was an enterprising young person trying to help me and he said you know this is the best way begin do it. just grab a couple of local i.d.s. i was waiting to get tackled by someone in the middle of the library but in the end they were onto as it seems and we kind of sprinted away. anyway we didn't find anything there but it was really exciting. .. . >> practice. and the first daughter has bound
feet. the next daughter -- >> the next daughter has kind of the unbound feet. the first part of her life they were bound. and that's whethat a lot of eli families did. it was a sign you came from a good family. and as china was changing by the time the second daughter comes around, her feet were partially bound. and when she's younger, they're unbound. and by the time the third daughter came around, they were fully unbound. and at the time, you know, society was still getting used to this. some of my old distant relatives in the village talk about that as, boy, those are some pretty ugly full-sized feet. so it was just kind of this different way of looking at things. there's a great book on this period called cinderella's sister. because at the time, you know, the norms were changing slowly. so it wasn't necessarily seen as something that was, oh, this is progress. >> but your grandmother who was the one with the big feet, the
unbound feet, was born into this kind of outward looking, kind of modern -- search for modernity that would run throughout her life. if one of the tragic figures, your grandmother is one of the true heroes of the book. >> she had the great fortune to go to a school run by missionary women. they read adult house. they performed a christmas carol. she learned how to play the piano. she was in the glee club. so she had these great opportunities that actually we didn't know about until we started digging into this history. and feminist historians in china, there's another great book called women in the chinese enlightenment is a lot of them see kind of this period. because a lot of my grandmother's contemporaries went overseas or went to form those schools in china. so these were, again, kind of
the early seeds of women's literacy in china. i do have to say the communist party picked up on it and made great strides in women's literacy. but this is part of it. >> unless there are no other questions, i want to bring this to a close. but i do want to say, you know, this is something that's really worth reading. it won't take a lot of your time. but if you're interested in not just chinese history but kind of that search for roots. and this is just a wonderful, wonderful book. beautifully written. so i do encourage you to take a look at it. so i want to thank scott tong for the opportunity to be here today and for writing a great book. >> thanks. [ applause ] >> thank you, guys. thank you for being here. and thank you all for coming out. scott was nice enough to sign copies of his book. so if you would like, you can sort of form a line. we have some in the back there. we have some behind us. and you can come on and meet
scott. thank you guys. . >> book tv in prime time with a look at recent book fairs and festival from the 2018 san antonio book festival, san antonio mayor discussed his book building equitable cities. hollywood screen writer roger l simon took your phone calls on current political and social issues at the los angeles times festival of books. and from the unbound book festival, a discussion on the me too movement. book tv all this week in prime time on c-span 2. . >> thursday on the c-span networks. at noon eastern on c-span, a conversation on social media and how it influences political
debate and democracy in the u.s. hosted by the kato institute. on c-span 2 at 9:00 a.m., former secretary of state sits down with washington post columnist david ignatius to talk about the trump administration's foreign policy, including the current talks with north korea about a pos possible summit. then at 10:00 intelligence to help with cyber threats to organizations and companies. that's also on c-span 2. >> c-span where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress. the white house. the supreme court. and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider.
>> up next on book tv afterwards, human rights campaign press secretary sara mcbride discusses lgbt issues and her life as a transgender person. she's interviewed by the former head of the u.s. department of justice civil rights division during obama's presidency. and the council on civil and human rights. >> so, sara, you wrote a really amazing book that really was able to we've in the personal the political. but tell me a little bit about what prompted you to write this book and particularly now. >> well, i appreciate so much having the opportunity to chat with you. you know, the book tomorrow will be different is the story of my own journey as a transgender woman, as an advocate. and, of course, the story of my relationship with