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The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011


    Real fly on the wall stuff. Great analysis and historical insight about the CCP. The writing style is clear and journalistic making for politically relevant and interesting page turner. This is a balanced but honest look at China's communist party thats worth buying if you want the inside scoop.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Party Keen on Stealth Exposed to Sunlight

    Richard McGregor renders a great service to his readers by shedding light on the inner workings of the ruling Chinese Communist Party which is keen on secrecy. The transformation of China's economy and society and its impact on the rest of the world in the last three decades has too often deflected attention from formal politics in Beijing.

    Highly pragmatic, cynical, and adaptive, the Party has succeeded in the last three decades in linking the power and legitimacy of a communist state with the drive and productivity of an increasingly entrepreneurial society. The party's legitimacy still depends largely on the economy and its accompanying resurgent patriotism and nationalism. For all its increasingly international presence, China and, therefore, the Party will remain focused mainly on solving the country's problems due to their scale, depth, multiplicity, and variety.

    McGregor shows systematically how high secrecy, tolerance of non-embarrassing corruption in its ranks, resolute hostility to the rule of law, and vindictive pursuit of enemies are all vital for the Party if it wants to remain at the core of the modern Chinese narrative through its tight grip on 1) personnel, 2) propaganda, and 3) People's Liberation Army.

    At the same time, the Party has traded in Mao Zedong's totalitarian terror for a seductive modus vivendi with Chinese citizens. As long as ordinary Chinese accept the enlightened leadership of their empowered elite and do not ask for either accountability or the rule of law, they can pretty much lead their life and career as they see fit and eventually get rich. McGregor also shows clearly that although the Party has adapted its membership make-up to ongoing changes in China, it is struggling to keep up with the rapidly evolving aspirations, demands, and cleavages of the Chinese society. However, the bargain that the Party has struck with ordinary Chinese does not exist in a vacuum. The Party's propaganda system has to constantly remind Chinese citizens that there is no serious alternative to the Party in order for it to remain at the top of Chinese society.

    The Party is also keen to minimize its profile abroad. For example, the Party likes to promote the largest state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that are publicly traded in Hong Kong and outside mainland China as independent commercial entities. The Party's myriad functions, starting with its control over top management of these SOEs, have been downplayed systematically.

    In summary, McGregor convincingly demonstrates that the Party is determined to pursue its own model of economic, political, and social development on its own implacable terms. The rest of the world, especially the West, has no other option but to adapt to the reemergence of China, regardless of the ultimate outcome of this metamorphosis.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    This is an exceptionally well informed and balanced book about t

    This is an exceptionally well informed and balanced book about the special interest group that monopolizes China's government, politics, military affairs, and legal system--and how the Chinese Communist Party also controls most of the vital sectors of China's economy. Note that the positive ratings mostly have commentary while the negative ratings are all anonymous up till now and thus can be disregarded.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013



    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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