The investigation of the rise and fall of Gao Gang suggests broader implications on the nature of elite politics in the Maoist era. The illumination of basic issues in Chinese politics in the context of this case, especially as regards the role of Mao Zedong, is relevant not only to the initial post-1949 period of comparative, but flawed, party unity, but also to the structural fault lines of the political system which were later to contribute so significantly to the Cultural Revolution.
The author of the acclaimed "Azerbaijan Diary and Chechnya Diary" now recounts his experiences in the strife-ridden Republic of Georgia. Soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Republic of Georgia fell prey to a series of power struggles, rampant crime and corruption, secessionist wars, and the spillover of the war in neighboring Chechnya. Journalist Goltz traces these developments with the same kind of vivid, personal narrative that made his previous books so compelling. This fast-paced, first-person account is filled with memorable portraits of individuals in high places and low. It traces the story from 1992 through to the present, with a new epilogue for the paperback edition based on the author's experiences in Georgia during the August 2008 war.