INTRODUCTION
“The fear of hope and the love for desperation. They are not the same feeling, nor
do they exist in the same person. Not necessarily. But let’s talk about them, because
‘China’ stirs up both.” Franco Fortini, “Ancora in Cina” [In China once again], Quad-
erni Piacentini 48 (1973): 138.
“ Ah then,’ said Truptin, ‘you want to talk about the Cultural Revolution, dagem-
ing [the great revolution]? An invention, madame, miss, a journalistic invention, I
have never seen such things in China. China is a French invention, or rather a Pa-
risian invention; all those ignorants, who don’t know the language, who don’t know
the writing and yet they speak, they speak because they can’t read. . . . Let me tell
you, madame, let me tell you that China does not exist.’  Natacha Michel, La Chine
européenne (Paris: Gallimard 1975, 44–­ 45). I am thankful to Alessandro Russo for
pointing out this novel and this specific passage. Truptin is a not-­ so veiled caricature
of the sinologist Jacques Pimpaneau.
1. The Bulletin changed its name to Critical Asian Studies in 2001.
2. “Concerned” was a definition shared by several groups that were formed in
the sixties, for example, the Union of Concerned Scientists (ucs) (1969) and
the National Emergency Committee of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about
Vietnam (calcav) (1965).
3. In interviews with the author, Tom Engelhardt, John Berninghausen, Moss
Roberts, Sandy Sturdevant, and Mark Selden all stressed the role of the Viet-
nam War in eliciting their activism.
4. “Jon Livingston to the Newsletter” (May 26, 1976), ccas Archives. In 1972,
Mark Selden noted that the Bulletin editorship had been held “overwhelmingly
by China specialists.” “Mark Selden to Schurmann, Friedman, Peck, Riskin,
McDonald, Lippit, Kehl, Pickowicz, Nee, Esherick, Oldfather” (November 17,
1972), Saundra Sturdevant’s personal archive, hereafter sspa.
5. Marilyn Young, interview with the author (June 27, 2011). Saundra Sturdevant
n o t e s
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