William H. Hinton

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William Howard Hinton

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Cook County, Illinois, United States
Death: Died in Arlington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Sebastian Hinton and Carmelita Hinton
Husband of Bertha Mathinlde Hinton; <private> Hinton (Chiu) and Josephine Anne "Joanne" Hinton
Father of <private> Gordon (Hinton); <private> Hinton; <private> Hinton; <private> Paul (Hinton) and <private> (Hinton)
Brother of Jean Hinton Rosner and Joan "Joanie" (Chase) Engst

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Immediate Family

About William H. Hinton

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._Hinton

William Howard Hinton (February 2, 1919 – May 15, 2004) was an American farmer and prolific writer. A Marxist, he is best known for his book Fanshen, 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, pinyin: Zhāngzhuāngcūn), 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.


Background and education


Hinton was born in Chicago. His father, Sebastian Hinton, was a lawyer who committed suicide; his mother, Carmelita Hinton, was an educator and the founder of The Putney School, an independent progressive school in Vermont. He was a nephew of novelist E. L. Voynich (1864–1960), whose 1897 book The Gadfly sold over a million copies and became the number one American bestseller in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.


Before graduating from Cornell University, Hinton attended Harvard, where he was captain of the ski team. In 1939 he raced the famous Inferno race from the summit of Mt Washington, skiing behind Toni Matt, who famously schussed the headwall. Hinton commented in 1996 that "he knew Matt did something special, as a huge roar came up from the crowd."


Experiences in China


Hinton first visited China in 1937. At the time, prevailing U.S. views of the Communist Party of China since the 1920s had alternated between uncertainty and hostility. Most U.S. 'experts' on communism were baffled by the appeal of a Marxist-Leninist party to Asian peasants. Some diplomats considered the Communist Party of China "agrarian reformers" who labeled themselves revolutionaries. They were uncertain whether or how closely the Communists were tied to the Soviet Union.


Given the attention lavished on the Kuomintang (KMT) by both U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the media, especially Henry Luce's Time Magazine, the U.S. public was slow to take notice of the Communists' rise in importance in China. When the U.S. joined China and the other Allied Powers of the Second World War in the War against Japan, there had been little contact between U.S. diplomats and the CPC, even though the KMT-led United Front against Japan made the Communists an implicit ally.


At the time of Hinton's first visit to China in the mid-1930s, a handful of U.S journalists, such as Edgar Snow, Helen Foster Snow, and Owen Lattimore, had sneaked through the KMT blockade into Communist territory. All praised the high morale, social reform, and commitment to fighting Japan that they observed.


Along with academic colleagues, Hinton made similar observations when he served from 1945-1953 during his subsequent visit to China. Hinton was a staff member of the U.S. Office of War Information and was present at the Chongqing peace talks between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China, where he met Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong. Hinton later accepted a post as an English teacher at the Northern University in Southeast Shanxi province, near Changzhi City, in a liberated district.


Hinton then worked for the United Nations as a tractor-technician, providing training in modern agricultural methods in rural China. When the Communist party liberated the province in which he was working in 1948, he asked to join the university-staffed land reform work team in the village of Long Bow on the outskirts of Changzhi.


Hinton spent eight months working in the fields in the day and attending land reform meetings both day and night, and during this time he took careful notes on the land reform process. He assisted in the development of mechanized agriculture and education, and mainly stayed in the CPC-ruled northern Chinese village of Long Bow, forging close bonds with the inhabitants. Hinton aided the locals with complicated CPC initiatives, especially literacy projects, the breaking up of the feudal estates, ensuring the equality of women, and the replacement of the imperial-era magistrates that governed the village with councils in a symbiotic relationship with the landed gentry class. Hinton took more than one thousand pages of notes during his time in China. In the 1980s, Hinton's daughter Carma returned to Long Bow to make a series of documentary films, including Small Happiness and To Taste 100 Herbs.


Return to the United States


On his return to the United States after the conclusion of the Korean War in 1953, Hinton wanted to chronicle his observations of the revolutionary process in Long Bow. But on his return, at the height of McCarthyism, customs officials seized his papers, and turned them over to the Senate Committee on Internal Security (chaired by Senator James Eastland). Hinton was subjected to continual harassment by the FBI, his passport was confiscated, and he was barred from all teaching jobs. At first permitted to work as a truck mechanic, he was later blacklisted and denied all employment. He then took up farming on some land inherited from his mother, and farmed for a living for some fifteen years. During this period Hinton continued to speak out about the successes of the Chinese Revolution and waged a long (and eventually successful) legal battle to recover his notes and papers from the Eastland Committee.


After the government returned his notes and papers, Hinton set to writing Fanshen, a documentary account of the land reform in Long Bow village in which he had been both observer and participant. After many mainstream U.S. publishers had turned it down, it was published in 1966 by Monthly Review Press and was a stunning success, selling hundreds of thousands of copies, with translations in ten languages. In the book, Hinton examines the revolutionary experience of the Long Bow village, painting a complex picture of conflict, contradiction and cooperation in rural China.


After the death of Edgar Snow, Hinton became the most famous American sympathetic to the People's Republic of China, and he served as the first national chairman of the US China Peoples Friendship Association from 1974-1976. The Association published his controversial interviews with Chinese premier Zhou Enlai. Hinton cooled toward official policy as market reforms under Deng Xiaoping moved away from the type of socialism originally associated with Mao Zedong. Eventually he wrote Shenfan (read as the opposite of Fanshen) and The Great Reversal, and became an outspoken opponent of the Socialism with Chinese characteristics and Chinese economic reform that the current CPC continues today.


Works

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._Hinton#Works


William Howard Hinton (February 2, 1919 – May 15, 2004) was an American farmer and prolific writer.

A Marxist, he is best known for his book Fanshen, published in 1966, a "documentary of revolution" which chronicled the land reform program of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the 1940s in Zhangzhuangcun (张庄村, pinyin: Zhāngzhuāngcūn), sometimes translated as Long Bow Village, a village in Shanxi Province in northern China.[1] 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.

Background and education

Hinton was born on February 2, 1919 in Chicago.[1] His father, Sebastian Hinton, was a lawyer who committed suicide. His mother, Carmelita Hinton, was an educator and the founder of The Putney School, an independent progressive school in Vermont. He was a nephew of novelist E. L. Voynich (1864–1960), whose 1897 book The Gadfly sold over a million copies and became the number one American bestseller in the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Before graduating from Cornell University,[2] Hinton attended Harvard, where he was captain of the ski team. In 1939 he raced the famous Inferno race from the summit of Mt Washington, skiing behind Toni Matt, who famously schussed the headwall. Hinton commented in 1996 that "he knew Matt did something special, as a huge roar came up from the crowd."

Experiences in China

Hinton first visited China in 1937. At the time, prevailing U.S. views of the Communist Party of China since the 1920s had alternated between uncertainty and hostility. Most U.S. "experts" on communism were baffled by the appeal of a Marxist-Leninist party to Asian peasants. Some diplomats considered the Communist Party of China "agrarian reformers" who labeled themselves revolutionaries. They were uncertain whether or how closely the Communists were tied to the Soviet Union.

Given the attention lavished on the Kuomintang (KMT) by both U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the media, especially Henry Luce's Time Magazine, the U.S. public was slow to take notice of the Communists' rise in importance in China. When the U.S. joined China and the other Allied Powers of the Second World War in the War against Japan, there had been little contact between U.S. diplomats and the CPC, even though the KMT-led United Front against Japan made the Communists an implicit ally.

At the time of Hinton's first visit to China in the mid-1930s, a handful of U.S journalists, such as Edgar Snow, Helen Foster Snow, and Owen Lattimore, had sneaked through the KMT blockade into communist territory. All praised the high morale, social reform, and commitment to fighting Japan that they observed. Along with academic colleagues, Hinton made similar observations when he served from 1945-1953 during his subsequent visit to China. Hinton was a staff member of the U.S. Office of War Information and was present at the Chongqing peace talks between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China, where he met Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong. Hinton later accepted a post as an English teacher at the Northern University in Southeast Shanxi province, near Changzhi City, in a liberated district.

Hinton then worked for the United Nations as a tractor-technician, providing training in modern agricultural methods in rural China. When the communist party liberated the province in which he was working in 1948, he asked to join the university-staffed land reform work team in the village of Long Bow on the outskirts of Changzhi. By 1948, his then-wife Bertha Sneck had also joined him in China. Hinton spent eight months working in the fields in the day and attending land reform meetings both day and night, and during this time he took careful notes on the land reform process. He assisted in the development of mechanized agriculture and education, and mainly stayed in the CPC-ruled northern Chinese village of Long Bow, forging close bonds with the inhabitants. Hinton aided the locals with complicated CPC initiatives, especially literacy projects, the breaking up of the feudal estates, ensuring the equality of women, and the replacement of the imperial-era magistrates that governed the village with councils in a symbiotic relationship with the landed gentry class. Hinton took more than one thousand pages of notes during his time in China.

In the 1980s, Hinton's daughter Carma Hinton, returned to Long Bow to make a series of documentary films, including Small Happiness and To Taste 100 Herbs.

Return to the United States

On his return to the United States after the conclusion of the Korean War in 1953, Hinton wanted to chronicle his observations of the revolutionary process in Long Bow. But on his return, at the height of McCarthyism, customs officials seized his papers, and turned them over to the Senate Committee on Internal Security (chaired by Senator James Eastland). Hinton was subjected to continual harassment by the FBI, his passport was confiscated, and he was barred from all teaching jobs. At first permitted to work as a truck mechanic, he was later blacklisted and denied all employment. He then took up farming on some land inherited from his mother, and farmed for a living for some fifteen years. During this period Hinton continued to speak out about the successes of the Chinese Revolution and waged a long (and eventually successful) legal battle to recover his notes and papers from the Eastland Committee.

After the government returned his notes and papers, Hinton set to writing Fanshen, a documentary account of the land reform in Long Bow village in which he had been both observer and participant. After many mainstream U.S. publishers had turned it down, it was published in 1966 by Monthly Review Press and was a success, selling hundreds of thousands of copies, with translations in ten languages. In the book, Hinton examines the revolutionary experience of the Long Bow village, painting a complex picture of conflict, contradiction and cooperation in rural China.

After the death of Edgar Snow, Hinton became the most famous American sympathetic to the People's Republic of China, and he served as the first national chairman of the US China Peoples Friendship Association from 1974-1976. The association published his controversial interviews with Chinese premier Zhou Enlai. Hinton cooled toward official policy as market reforms under Deng Xiaoping moved away from the type of socialism originally associated with Mao Zedong. Eventually he wrote Shenfan (read as the opposite of Fanshen) and The Great Reversal, and became an outspoken opponent of the socialist market economy ("socialism with Chinese characteristics") and Chinese economic reform that the CPC continues today.

Works • 1966, Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village, Monthly Review Press, ISBN 0-520-21040-9, ISBN 0-85345-046-3, ISBN 0-394-70465-7, ISBN 1-58367-175-7. • 1970, Iron Oxen - A Documentary of Revolution in Chinese Farming, Monthly Review Press, ISBN 0-394-71328-1, ISBN 0-85345-122-2. • 1972, Hundred Day War: The Cultural Revolution at Tsinghua University, Monthly Review Press, ISBN 0-85345-281-4, ISBN 0-85345-238-5. • 1972, Turning Point in China: An Essay on the Cultural Revolution, Monthly Review Press, ISBN 0-85345-215-6. • 1984, Shenfan, Vintage, ISBN 0-394-72378-3, ISBN 0-330-28396-0, ISBN 0-394-48142-9. • 1989, The Great Reversal: The Privatization of China, 1978-1989, Monthly Review Press, ISBN 0-85345-794-8, ISBN 0-85345-793-X. • 1995, Ninth Heaven to Ninth Hell: The History of a Noble Chinese Experiment (with Qin Huailu and Dusanka Miscevic), Barricade Books, ISBN 1-56980-041-3. About Chen Yonggui and Dazhai. • 2006, Through a Glass Darkly: American Views of the Chinese Revolution, Monthly Review Press, ISBN 1-58367-141-2. A critique of Edward Friedman, Paul G. Pickowicz, Mark Selden, Chinese Village, Socialist State, Yale University Press 1991, ISBN 0-300-05428-9.

Death 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”).

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William H. Hinton's Timeline

1919
1919
Cook County, Illinois, United States
2004
2004
Age 85
Arlington, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States