On the centennial of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, the definitive history of how Mao and his successors overcame incredible odds to gain and keep power.
Mao Zedong and the twelve other young men who founded the Chinese Communist Party in 1921 could hardly have imagined that less than thirty years later they would be rulers. On its hundredth anniversary, the party remains in command, leading a nation primed for global dominance.
Tony Saich tells the authoritative, comprehensive story of the Chinese Communist Party—its rise to power against incredible odds, its struggle to consolidate rule and overcome self-inflicted disasters, and its thriving amid other Communist parties’ collapse. Saich argues that the brutal Japanese invasion in the 1930s actually helped the party. As the Communists retreated into the countryside, they established themselves as the populist, grassroots alternative to the Nationalists, gaining the support they would need to triumph in the civil war. Once in power, however, the Communists faced the difficult task of learning how to rule. Saich examines the devastating economic consequences of Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the political chaos of the Cultural Revolution, as well as the party’s rebound under Deng Xiaoping’s reforms.
Leninist systems are thought to be rigid, yet the Chinese Communist Party has proved adaptable. From Rebel to Ruler shows that the party owes its endurance to its flexibility. But is it nimble enough to realize Xi Jinping’s “China Dream”? Challenges are multiplying, as the growing middle class makes new demands on the state and the ideological retreat from communism draws the party further from its revolutionary roots. The legacy of the party may be secure, but its future is anything but guaranteed.
Brett Sheehan Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress HC427.8.S45 2015 | Dewey Decimal 338.092251
This study of the evolution of Chinese capitalism chronicles the Song family of North China under five successive authoritarian governments. Brett Sheehan shows both foreign and Chinese influences on private business, which, although closely linked to the state, was neither a handmaiden to authoritarianism nor a natural ally of democracy.
Jottings under Lamplight
Lu Xun Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PL2754.S5A6 2017 | Dewey Decimal 895.18509
Lu Xun (1881–1936) is widely considered the greatest writer of twentieth-century China. Although primarily known for his two slim volumes of short fiction, he was a prolific, inventive essayist. These 62 essays—20 translated for the first time—showcase his versatility as a master of prose forms and his brilliance as a cultural critic.
In The Magic of Concepts Rebecca E. Karl interrogates "the economic" as concept and practice as it was construed historically in China in the 1930s and again in the 1980s and 1990s. Separated by the Chinese Revolution and Mao's socialist experiments, each era witnessed urgent discussions about how to think about economic concepts derived from capitalism in modern China. Both eras were highly cosmopolitan and each faced its own global crisis in economic and historical philosophy: in the 1930s, capitalism's failures suggested that socialism offered a plausible solution, while the abandonment of socialism five decades later provoked a rethinking of the relationship between history and the economic as social practice. Interweaving a critical historiography of modern China with the work of the Marxist-trained economist Wang Yanan, Karl shows how "magical concepts" based on dehistoricized Eurocentric and capitalist conceptions of historical activity that purport to exist outside lived experiences have erased much of the critical import of China's twentieth-century history. In this volume, Karl retrieves the economic to argue for a more nuanced and critical account of twentieth-century Chinese and global historical practice.
Quest for Power
Stephen R. Halsey Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress DS761.2.H354 2015 | Dewey Decimal 951.03
China’s late-imperial history has been framed as a long coda of decline, played out during the Qing dynasty. Reappraising this narrative, Stephen Halsey traces the origins of China’s current great-power status to this so-called decadent era, when threats of war with European and Japanese empirestriggered innovative state-building and statecraft.
In Revolutionary Nativism Maggie Clinton traces the history and cultural politics of fascist organizations that operated under the umbrella of the Chinese Nationalist Party (GMD) during the 1920s and 1930s. Clinton argues that fascism was not imported to China from Europe or Japan; rather it emerged from the charged social conditions that prevailed in the country's southern and coastal regions during the interwar period. These fascist groups were led by young militants who believed that reviving China's Confucian "national spirit" could foster the discipline and social cohesion necessary to defend China against imperialism and Communism and to develop formidable industrial and military capacities, thereby securing national strength in a competitive international arena. Fascists within the GMD deployed modernist aesthetics in their literature and art while justifying their anti-Communist violence with nativist discourse. Showing how the GMD's fascist factions popularized a virulently nationalist rhetoric that linked Confucianism with a specific path of industrial development, Clinton sheds new light on the complex dynamics of Chinese nationalism and modernity.
Economic modernity is so closely associated with nationhood that it is impossible to imagine a modern state without an equally modern economy. Even so, most people would have difficulty defining a modern economy and its connection to nationhood. In Saving the Nation, Margherita Zanasi explores this connection by examining the first nation-building attempt in China after the fall of the empire in 1911.
Challenging the assumption that nations are products of technological and socioeconomic forces, Zanasi argues that it was notions of what constituted a modern nation that led the Nationalist nation-builders to shape China’s institutions and economy. In their reform effort, they confronted several questions: What characterized a modern economy? What role would a modern economy play in the overall nation-building effort? And how could China pursue economic modernization while maintaining its distinctive identity? Zanasi expertly shows how these questions were negotiated and contested within the Nationalist Party. Silenced in the Mao years, these dilemmas are reemerging today as a new leadership once again redefines the economic foundation of the nation.
Between the 1890s and the Second World War, twenty-five million people traveled from the densely populated North China provinces of Shandong and Hebei to seek employment in the growing economy of China's three northeastern provinces, the area known as Manchuria. This was the greatest population movement in modern Chinese history and ranks among the largest migrations in the world.
Swallows and Settlers is the first comprehensive study of that migration. Drawing methods from their respective fields of economics and history, the coauthors focus on both the broad quantitative outlines of the movement and on the decisions and experiences of individual migrants and their families. In readable narrative prose, the book lays out the historical relationship between North China and the Northeast (Manchuria) and concludes with an examination of ongoing population movement between these regions since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949.