Monday, October 3, 2011

Remember Tiananmen Square?

A Heart for Freedom
Chai Ling
ISBN: 978-144362465
October, 2011/370 pages/Hardcover/$22.99

The dramatic and fascinating story of Chai Ling, commander-in-chief of the student protesters at Tiananmen Square and witness to the massacre of thousands of Chinese civilians. Risking imprisonment and possible death for her leadership role in the student democracy movement, she was on the run in China for ten months while being hunted by the authorities. She eventually escaped to the U.S., completed her education at Princeton and Harvard, found true love, and became a highly successful entrepreneur. But her desperate quest for freedom, purpose, and peace—which she had sought in turn through academic achievement, romantic love, political activism, and career success—was never satisfied until she had an unexpected encounter with a formerly forbidden faith. Her newfound passion for God led to her life’s greatest mission: Fighting for the lives and rights of young girls in China.

Chai Ling was a key student leader in the 1989 Tiananmen Square movement. Today, she serves as founder, president, and COO of Jenzabar, Inc., a leading higher education software services provider. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MPA in public affairs and international relations from Princeton University, and a BA in psychology from Peking University. She has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize. Chai Ling is founder of All Girls Allowed (, an organization dedicated to restoring life, value, and dignity to girls and mothers and revealing the injustice of China's one-child policy.

This is a fascinating and compelling book. I was newly married and in my late twenties when Tiananmen Square erupted in the bloody massacre and although I didn't follow all of the details, I remember the horror of it. I'm not generally drawn to biographies and historical memooirs, so I wouldn't have given this a second glance, except I was intrigued by the fact that Chai Ling has become a Christian in the past few years. For many of us, it's easy to see China as just a mass of humanity. A Heart for Freedom brings it to the personal level. Yes, there is much to learn about what happened in 1989 in the days surrounding Tiananmen Square. But more than a history lesson, this is the story of a life of a young woman and how God worked in her life from the time she was a little girl among the millions in China, using events to woo her, protect her, and draw her to Him, even when she didn't realize it. Today Chai Ling still has a heart for freedom for China, only this time it's for spiritual as well as physical freedom. I definitely recommend this book, releasing tomorrow!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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