The People's Republic of China is changing. It is modernizing, shifting ideological gears, becoming realistic about development needs and goals, and moving away from its isolationist past toward a much more open and pragmatic assessment of its present and future position in the world. In the post-Mao period, China also seems to be willing to engage, albeit reluctantly, in the painful internal reshuffling of priorities and functions necessary to speed development. But change has not been easy: there have been major problems, both domestic and international. Richard Thornton puts the events of the past eight years in China into historical perspective in this updated and expanded version of his textbook on China's political history since 1917 (first published in 1973 as China: The Struggle for Power, 1917-1972). With the additional material, the book now stands as the most detailed account available. Professor Thornton deals with every significant issue that has confronted the leaders of revolutionary China and discusses the origins of the People's Republic. How did communism first take root in China? How did Mao first gain control of the Communist movement? What were the ingredients of Mao's victory and emergence as the undisputed master of the most populous country in the world? What was the origin of the Sino-Soviet alliance and what caused its collapse in the fifties? And in what sense were the tumultuous events of the Cultural Revolution of the sixties a prelude to the emergence of the new pragmatism and the Sino-U.S. rapprochement in the seventies? There has been very little stability in China's recent past, but Professor Thornton points out that there has been a historical logic in the sequence of China's history. An awareness of this logic is vital to understanding China's future.
Table of Contents
Also of Interest -- About the Book and Author -- Preface -- The Origin and Development of Chinese Communism, 1917-1941 -- To Build a Communist Movement in China, 1917-1927 -- The "Soviet" Experiment, 1927-1931 -- Defeat in Kiangsi, 1931-1934 -- From the Long March to the United Front, 1934-1937 -- The Road to War, 1937-1941 -- The American Experience in China, 1941-1949 -- World War II, the United States and China, 1941-1944 -- The United States, the Soviet Union, and China, 1945 -- Strategies in Conflict, 1946-1949 -- The Sino-Soviet Relationship, 1949-1968 -- The Soviet Union and the Chinese People's Republic, 1949-1959 -- The Polarization of Communist Politics, 1959-1965 -- The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution -- The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution -- The Evolution of U.S.-China Relations, 1969-1980 -- China in a Tri-Polar World, 1969-1973 -- The End of the Maoist Era, 1973-1976 -- The Struggle for Succession, 1976-1978 -- Whither China? The Uncertain Future, 1978-1980
Richard C. Thornton