Mao's China and After: A History of the People's Republic (3rd Edition)

Mao's China and After: A History of the People's Republic (3rd Edition)

Maurice Meisner

Language: English

Pages: 596


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

When MAO'S CHINA first appeared in 1977, it was hailed as the single most useful general volume on recent Chinese history, covering every important question of the time with clarity and amazing insight. Now, Meisner brings the third edition of his definitive work, with new information provided throughout the classic study. Including a whole new section in Part Six, 'Deng Xiaoping and the Origins of Chinese Capitalism: 1976-1998', Meisner assesses the country's uneasy relationship with democracy, socialism and capitalism. Retaining the elegance, lucidity and comprehensiveness he is known for, Meisner moves far beyond his previous work to paint a never-before-seen portrait of the political and social realities of China on the brink of the new Millennium, and the global implications of its rise to economic and political power.

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sure, Mao derived from the objective laws of social development proclaimed in Marxist theory some degree of assurance of the historic inevitability of a socialist future. But, in the final analysis, Mao's faith in socialism was not based upon any real Marxist confidence in the objective forces of historical development. For Mao, the essential factor in determining the course of history was conscious .human activity and the most important ingredients for revolution were how people thought and

people on their side. As one walks the streets, the new feeling of relief and relaxation can definitely be sensed, even though it is hard to describe it in tangible terms. "7 The people of Guangzhou, according to one account, awaited the arrival of the Red Army in a "cautious rather than exuberant" mood and "their main feeling was relief that the city had fallen peacefully."S It was among middle-school and university students that the Communists found their most enthusiastic and active supporters

anticipated, it nevertheless was a highly significant factor in the early industrial development of the People's Republic. The adoption of the Soviet model of economic development was also closely related to Chinese national security concerns. Long before the victory of 1949, Mao had proclaimed the inevitability of China "leaning to one side" in international affairs. As he put the matter in 1940, "unless there is the policy of alliance with Russia, with the land of socialism, there will

at the time was centered on fulfilling the economic targets of the Five Year Plan. For the workers, the industrialization drive meant subjection to increasingly strict codes of labor discipline. It also meant increasing wage and status differentials within their ranks. The more skilled workers were put in charge of factory work teams or became foremen exercising authority over former fellow workers. In wage policy there was a growing emphasis on material incentives, with monetary rewards for

errors" while Stalin was still portrayed as a great socialist leader who "creatively applied and developed MarxismLeninism" and carried out Lenin's policies of industrialization and collectivization. Acknowledging that Stalin "made some serious mistakes" in his later years, the Chinese commentary was implicitly more critical of Khrushchev for his failure to explain how those mistakes came about. For the most part the document was a defense of the socialist system Stalin built in Russia-and, by

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