The China Beat profiles the late Joan Hinton, an American who left to join the Communist Revolution in 1948 and never returned: “She was shocked to learn that tens of thousands of Japanese were killed by the bomb which she had helped to make. She didn’t want to spend her life figuring out how to kill people, Hinton said, so she went to China to help them… and settled into pastoral obscurity outside Xi’an, where their two sons and a daughter learned only Chinese.
“In 2002, Rob Gifford of National Public Radio asked Hinton if she regretted either the hard times during the Cultural Revolution or the disappointment of the post-Mao reforms. No, she replied, with an incredulous, almost querulous laugh — she had taken part in the two greatest events of the 20th century, the invention of the atomic bomb and the Chinese Revolution. “Who could ask for anything more than that?””