Historical records matching William H. Hinton
About William H. Hinton
William Howard Hinton was an American farmer and prolific writer. A Marxist, he is best known for his book Fanshen (翻身), published in 1966, a "documentary of revolution" which chronicled the land reform conducted by the Chinese Communist Party in the 1940s in Zhangzhuangcun (张庄村), sometimes translated as Long Bow Village, a village in Shanxi Province in northern China. Sequels followed the experience of the village during the 1950s and Cultural Revolution. Hinton wrote and lectured extensively to explain the Maoist approach and, in later years, to criticize Deng Xiaoping's market reforms.
ancestry.com, obituary, Brattleboro (VT) Reformer, May 22, 2004 NEW YORK-William Hinton, 85, a noted writer on Chinese issues, died on May 15, 2004.
Mr. Hinton was born on Feb. 2, 1919, in Chicago, Ill., and grew up in New England. He graduated in 1936 from The Putney School in Putney, Vt., a progressive independent school founded by his mother, Carmelita C. Hinton. He was accepted to Harvard University in 1936, at age 17, but decided to take a year off and explore the world. After a year at Harvard, he transferred to Cornell University in 1936 to study agriculture. After graduation in 1941, he worked in various farm jobs and wrote for Yankee magazine, The Compass magazine and The New York Times.
In 1943, Mr. Hinton worked in a public service camp in New Hampshire for conscientious objectors to World War II. He was at that time a pacifist, however, he later changed his views and volunteered for the armed services. He was rejected because of a perforated eardrum, but still found his way to China in 1945 as a propaganda analyst for the Office of War Information. He went back to China in 1947 as a tractor technician with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), which provided aid to both Nationalist and Communist-held areas. After the U. N. project ended, he stayed in Communist-held North China and taught English and stayed on in China after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and worked as an instructor for mechanized agriculture.
Mr. Hinton returned to the United States in 1953, right in the teeth of McCarthyism. He was blacklisted and was denied a passport for 15 years. The Customs Service seized his notes on land reform in China and the Senate investigated him. Mr. Hinton finally recovered his papers in 1958 through a court suit, and from those notes, he wrote the book "Fanshen," on land reform in Long Bow, a small village in Shanxi province in northern China. "Fanshen" was rejected by several mainstream publishers and was finally published in 1966 by Monthly Review Press. It has since become a class -- required reading for college course in Chinese history, politics, and anthropology.
Having been blacklisted and barred from all teaching jobs, Mr. Hinton took up farming in Fleetwood, Pa., on land bought by his mother after she retired from The Putney School. He farmed for a living for 16 years. While living in Pennsylvania, he participated in many progressive causes in the United States. In the spring of 1971, as official relations between China and the United States began to improve, Mr. Hinton was invited to China as the first among many Americans who had been persecuted for prematurely advocating the normalization of US-China relations. During his seven-month stay, he had five meetings with Premier Zhou Enlai and returned to Long Bow village for several months to investigate the history of the village since his last visit in 1948. His findings were published in "Shenfan" (Random House, 1983).
Since the 1970s, Mr. Hinton lectured widely in the United States and internationally and he made numerous trips to China, returning to Long Bow village repeatedly as well as visiting other provinces to do research and work on agricultural projects. During the period he also worked as consultant and narrator on a number of documentary articles, which were collected in the book, "The Great Reversal: The Privatization of China" (Monthly Review Press, 1990).
Mr. Hinton suffered a heart attack during a trip to Taiwan in May 2000. Although he survived the heart attack, he spent the next four years in a weakened condition, battling serious heart disease to which he finally succumbed.
Mr. Hinton was the husband of Katherine Chu Hinton of New York, and the late Joanne Raiford of Fleetwood, Pa; father of Carmelita (Carma) Hinton of Newton, Mass., Alyssa Hinton of Carrboro, N.C., Catherine Hinton of Arlington, Mass., and Michael Hinton of Reading, Pa., brother of Joan Hinton of Beijing, China and the late Jean Rosner of Concord, Mass; grandfather of Adrian, Gordon, Devon Mychal and Akunna Hinton, and uncle to numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be held at The Putney School on Aug. 21 at 3 p.m. For additional information, contact Harriet Rogers at The Putney School alumni office, (802) 387-6273.u Additional data from the obit in The Barre (VT) Times-Argus, May 31, 2004 Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to The Putney School, Attn: Dough Gortner, Elm Lea Farm, Putney, 05346, or Monthly Review Founation, Attn: John Mage, 122 West 27th St., New York, NY 1001 or Overseas China Education Foundation, Attn: William H. Hinton Rural China Education Fund, P. O. Box 772436, Houston Texas, 77215-2436
William Hinton, was a celebrated China scholar and author. His family stock was made up of English notables such as separatist William Bradford III, Governer of Plymouth Rock…and, further back, the Reverand John Bradford, burnt alive as a heretic by “bloody Queen Mary” in 1555. Add to this an assortment of intellectuals/eccentrics including inventors, scientists and mathematicians such as Great Great Grand Father George Boole (binary system of 0 s and 1 s applied to computers), and Great Grand Father Charles Hinton (tesseract geometric configuration representing the 4th dimension), and writers; Ethel Lilian Voynich (“The Gadfly”).