What Communist China Taught a 6-Year-Old American Boy

With Tiananmen Square as My Playground, I Learned Lifelong Lessons About Diplomacy, Authority, and Democracy


A worker comes to Beijing, to Communist Party headquarters, and asks to see Chairman Mao.

A soldier stops him. “You can’t see Mao,” he says. “He’s dead.”

The worker returns the next day, and again asks for Mao. The same soldier turns him away: “You can’t see him. He’s dead.”

The third day, the worker returns, and insists: “I must see Chairman Mao.”

The soldier loses his temper. “I told you yesterday, and the day before that. Chairman Mao is dead. Dead! Dead! Dead!”

“I know,” says the worker, with a smile. “I just …

One Out of Eleven Chinese Uyghurs Is in a Concentration Camp

The Communist Party's Need for Total Control Has Grown Worse Since Xi Jinping Came to Power in 2012

To get arrested today in Western China, you don’t have to do much more than buy a SIM card for a relative. You could easily find yourself detained for having …

How Concentration Camp Prisoners Found Comfort in Imaginary Feasts

From Ravensbrück to Mao's Labor Camps, Inmates Recited Family Recipes to Preserve Their Humanity

When the Soviet Union sent Dmitri Likhachev to an offshore detention camp in February 1928, the Russian scholar was crammed onto a train car with other prisoners and handed a …

Why Tariffs Have Backfired Throughout American History

As a U.S. Trade War With China Escalates, the Only Guarantee Is Unexpected Aftershocks

In a truly iconic scene from the 1980s comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a high school economics teacher played by Ben Stein fails to elicit even a muscle twitch from …

The Centuries-Old Silver Jug That Conjures the Mysteries of the Silk Road

Stretching From Rome and Africa to Asia, the Ancient Trade Route Lured Invaders, Migrants, and Merchants—and Left Artifacts Rich With Meaning

As China has promoted its Belt and Road Initiative—an ambitious plan to open new markets for China by building logistics and trade infrastructure from Asia to Europe and Africa—the Chinese …

The Chinese-Born Doctor Who Brought Tofu to America

Yamei Kin Was a Scientific Prodigy Who Promoted the Chinese Art of Living to U.S. Audiences

On a hot summer day in 1918, syndicated reporter Sarah McDougal paid a visit to an unusual laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Bureau of Chemistry, a predecessor to …