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Researching China's 1989 Tiananmen Square Pro-Democracy Protests: Print & Online Resources   Tags: 6489, 8964, beijing spring, china, democracy, june 4, liu si, martial law, massacre, may 35, protests, tank man, tiananmen square  

Highlights resources available at/via Tulane libraries as well as on free, reliable websites. Coverage includes primary & secondary sources. Feel free to contact me whenever you need more help researching China's 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
Last Updated: Mar 20, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Roy L. Sturgeon

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Roy L. Sturgeon, Foreign, Comparative, & International Law/Reference Librarian
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Beijing Spring @ 28

Spring 2017 marks the 28th anniversary of China's 1989 Tiananmen Square protests for democracy. Emanating from the nation's political, cultural, & media capital, Beijing, they were the largest [millions of participants from all walks of life around the country], most dramatic, among the longest lasting [7 weeks, from mid-April to early June], & ultimately most tragic in Chinese history. And they were among the most widely covered news stories ever, broadcast live globally via television & cell phone [then a new technology] by foreign reporters who arrived in mid-May for a historic, long-planned Sino-Soviet summit & soon realized the protests were an even bigger story. These epic protests & their brutal suppression on June 4 by the government [still in power today!] scored 4 straight TIME magazine covers: May 29, June 5, June 12, & June 19. Only 5 events have scored as many since: Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (1990) & resulting Persian Gulf War (1991); Bush v. Gore saga (2000); 9/11 terrorist attacks & resulting Afghanistan War (2001); Iraq War (2003); & election of 1st black US president (2008).

This LibGuide features a variety of English-language resources, but is not exhaustive. It merely scratches the surface. Please be careful. Despite the passage of more than a quarter century, Beijing Spring remains the most dangerous topic in China.


"Assignment: China - Tiananmen Square" [2014]


Fiction & Poetry

Cover Art
Beijing Coma - Ma Jian
Call Number: PL2948.3 .J53 B45 2008
Novel by award-winning Chinese writer who participated in 1989 protests. Tells story of Dai Wei, a PhD student/1989 protestor struck by soldier's bullet & left comatose. But as millennium draws near, he starts regaining consciousness & senses massive change in China. Powerful allegory of rising China & seminal tale about 1989 protests. Acclaimed as “an epic yet intimate work that deserves to be recognised & to endure as the great Tienanmen novel.” Banned in China. Ma is banned from there & now lives in London, England.

Cover Art
June Fourth Elegies - Liu Xiaobo
Call Number: PL2879 .X53 A2 2012b
1st-ever bilingual (Chinese-English) collection of anniversary poems written since 1990 by leading 1989 Tiananmen Square activist & contemporary China's most globally famous political prisoner. Jailed—most recently—since 2009, Liu was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. But the Chinese government did not allow him or his family to leave China & collect it in Oslo, Norway. See Nobel Prize's website ( for more details.


"Tiananmen Leader Wang Dan to Move to US . . ."


"The UK Knew China was Planning a Massacre at Tiananmen . . ."



This information was published as a LibGuide by Roy L. Sturgeon in May 2014 for Tulane University Law School in Louisiana.


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