Harrison Salisbury is American journalist and historian. He worked in the USSR during the Great Patriotic War. He was the first permanent correspondent of The New York Times in Moscow after World War II. He then worked in China and Vietnam. After that he wrote about communal problems in New York. His articles against racial discrimination in the southern states caused the prosecution, but the appellate court acquitted him.
Salisbury is the author of historical works The 900 days The Siege of Leningrad and The Long March: The Untold Story, Tiananmen Diary: Thirteen Days in June, and others.
Tiananmen Diary is a non-fiction book, which describes Salisbury’s trip to China. Arriving in Beijing on June 2, 1989 to shoot a historical documentary, Salisbury became a witness of the terrible events of the Tiananmen Massacre for three days from the safety of Beijing Hotel before leaving for the provinces and then home. Even though the title of the book says Thirteen Days in June, Salisbury spent only three days there. He relied on Voice of America and BBC broadcasts to learn what was happening. His diary however adds almost nothing of interest to the modern news accounts. Salisbury didn’t show himself as a great expert on China. Even though he didn’t speak the language, he made numerous mistakes of historical fact and reference.
The book describes the events in Tiananmen Square of 1989, also known as the events of June 4. This was the suppression of the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in Beijing by Chinese troops, which lasted from April 15 to June 4, 1989. The main participants of the demonstration were students. On June 4, the protesters were dispersed with tanks, killing hundreds of people.
Since 1978, economic and political reforms on the initiative of Deng Xiaoping began to be implemented, which led to the gradual introduction of a market economy and a political liberalization, weakening the system established by the chief theoretician of Chinese communism Mao Zedong.
Some students and intellectuals believed that economic reforms were slow and that China should also convert its political system. They were also concerned about the social and political controls that belonged to the Chinese Communist Party.
According to the opposite version of events students protested against the capitalist orientation of the economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping and wanted to preserve Mao’s socialist gains. However, most of the evidence refers not to the students, but rather to the numerous demonstrations of civil servants that appeared in Tiananmen in late May with portraits of Mao Zedong and slogans about restoring order.
Harrison Salisbury is American journalist and historian. He worked in the USSR during the Great Patriotic War. He was the first permanent correspondent of The New York Times in Moscow after World War II. He then worked in China and Vietnam. After that he wrote about communal problems in New York.