An important American leftist figure, Joan Hinton (Chinese 寒春), Has died. Hinton was one of the scientists who Manhattan Project to build an atomic bomb during World War II. Shortly after that she moved to China then and spent the rest of her life as a devoted follower of Mao Zedong.
According to The Washington Post:
In 1948, Ms. Hinton took the dramatic step of following her brother to China just as the country was in the throes of the Communist revolution led by Mao. Ms. Hinton, who witnessed the first atomic bomb explosion in 1945, was upset when nuclear energy was used to annihilate much of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the waning days of World War II. She renounced the violent use of atomic energy and moved to China, where she thought an ideal socialist state would emerge based on Mao's teachings…
During the red-baiting era of the 1950s, Ms. Hinton was condemned in overheated magazine articles as a "a blond traitor," a "Cold War Mata Hari" and a "femme fatale with a vengeance" who divulged atomic secrets to the Chinese.
She laughed off the accusations as preposterous.
"What a silly fuss," she told The Washington Post in 1978. "When I arrived in the liberated area of China, they had nothing. We scoured the battlefields for old metal to make cooking pots. The last thing in anybody's mind was the development of an atom bomb."
She Scoffed at the accusations that Mao was a mass murderer who killed tens of millions of people. She also rejected the horror stories and propaganda against the Cultural Revolution (文革).
From the Post:
"I was 100 percent behind everything that happened in the Cultural Revolution," she said in 2008, long after most Chinese people had abandoned Maoist beliefs. "He was a terrific person, and he liberated all the people -- he was not a monster at all." ….
She said she never regretted her move to China, saying in a 2002 interview with NPR:
"I've taken part in two of the greatest things of the 20th century -- the development of the atom bomb and the Chinese revolution. Who could ask for anything more than that?"
For the rest click here.
Although it was nice of The Washington Post to print this article on Hinton and it was a good article overall, it still shows how much this country hangs on to the old Cold War rhetoric. For example, the article said:
Nonetheless, Ms. Hinton remained an ardent supporter of Mao, the Chinese Communist leader who controlled the country from 1949 until he died in 1976. Even after Mao's Cultural Revolution reshaped Chinese society by force, leaving tens of millions of people dead in ideological purges, Ms. Hinton's loyalty was undiminished.
There’s no evidence that tens of millions of millions of people dead during the Cultural Revolution. The US mainstream press continues to print these gross exaggerations as though they were facts, even though there are many people dispute such non-sense. The press continues to repeat the old Cold War propaganda that portray Mao as a mass murderer who randomly killed millions of people for no reason. Yet most people in Asia just don’t buy this. Even today in non-Maoist China, Mao is regarded as the founder of the republic and gets the same respect that George Washington gets. There have also been articles that show that many people in China still believe that Mao and other communist officials were honest politicians. If the Chinese did believe he was such a murderer it is unlikely that there would be so many souvenir shops selling plates with Mao’s picture, Mao badges and other paraphernalia from China’s Maoist years.