WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 4 60 On the local level, residents can elect their leaders, but the party vets the candidates. While it's much easier for entrepreneurs to launch businesses, party officials hold key spots in big firms. "It would be very hard for a head of a large corporation to take a dissident stand," Goldman explained. Goldman reads Chinese, but sticks to English for conversations. In recent years, she has found that her contacts feel freer to speak out, but they still couch their criticism in e-mail and in person. "When I go to visit my Chinese friends, they turn the radio loud. They say there are microphones in the walls." include a collaboration with Fairbank, China: A New History, Enlarged Edition (1998), one of the leading texts in the field. When Goldman first met Fairbank, he was embroiled in contro- versy for arguing that it would be a smart move for America to estab- lish relations with Mao's China. That was not a particularly popular stance in the red-baiting era of Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy. "Fairbank never complained," Goldman said. "He was very stoic; you would never know that he was really under attack." Since that first visit to Beijing in 1974, Goldman has traveled to China almost every year since. She is now working on a follow-up to her 2005 book, From Comrade to Citizen: The Struggle for Political Rights in China. That strug- gle continues to be an uphill battle. "The middle class hasn't yet gained any political power," Goldman said. "The people with whom I deal, the intellectuals, are the most critical." Ironically, the shift to a capitalist economy has helped the Communist leaders maintain their one-party rule. "As long as the Communist Party can deliver economically," Goldman said, "I think it's going to be very difficult for another party to come to power. If the economy begins to stall or runs into real trouble, then there might be a movement from below for a differ- ent kind of government." In the post-Mao era, the Chinese have enjoyed greater economic mobility and free- dom to travel, and have been subject to less intrusion into their private lives. Last fall, the one-child law was slightly eased, though Goldman said many Chinese couples were choosing to keep their families small, as have their counterparts in other rapidly developing countries. an interview with merle goldman 056-065_WWMa14_face2face_v3_WWM_interview 2/1/14 3:45 PM Page 60

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