Letters | Chinese names, curing clericalism


Peter Quinn’s very interesting article on the political and ideological uses of famine (“Hunger Games,” May 16) makes reference to Yang Jisheng’s Tombstone, a study of the great Chinese famine of c. 1958–61 (almost certainly the greatest famine in human history). But the article refers to him as “Jisheng,” which is his given name; the surname is “Yang.” Only his family and his buddies would have called him “Jisheng.” It would be the same as referring to the current president of China (Xi Jinping) as “Jinping,” or referring to Mao as “Zedong.” Or for that matter, referring to FDR, in a serious book on presidential history, as “Franklin.”

Nicholas Clifford

Middlebury, Vt.


A sign of hope

I truly appreciate Rita Ferrone’s piece on RCIA, “Room at the Font” (May 2). It is as precise and true as anything I have read on the subject. Even though she paints a troubling picture, we have to look for hope somewhere. We should search out areas of pastoral life...

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