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This illuminating work examines the social, cultural, political, and economic dimensions of the Communist takeover of China. Instead of dwelling on elite politics and policy-making processes, Dilemmas of Victory seeks to understand how the 1949-1953 period was experienced by various groups, including industrialists, filmmakers, ethnic minorities, educators, rural midwives, philanthropists, stand-up comics, and scientists.
A stellar group of authors that includes Frederic Wakeman, Elizabeth Perry, Sherman Cochran, Perry Link, Joseph Esherick, and Chen Jian shows that the Communists sometimes achieved a remarkably smooth takeover, yet at other times appeared shockingly incompetent. Shanghai and Beijing experienced it in ways that differed dramatically from Xinjiang, Tibet, and Dalian. Out of necessity, the new regime often showed restraint and flexibility, courting the influential and educated. Furthermore, many policies of the old Nationalist regime were quietly embraced by the new Communist rulers.
Based on previously unseen archival documents as well as oral histories, these lively, readable essays provide the fullest picture to date of the early years of the People's Republic, which were far more pluralistic, diverse, and hopeful than the Maoist decades that followed.
1 The Early Years of the People's Republic of China: An Introduction Jeremy Brown Paul G. Pickowicz 1
I Urban Takeover 19
2 "Cleanup": The New Order in Shanghai Frederic Wakeman Jr. 21
3 Masters of the Country? Shanghai Workers in the Early People's Republic Elizabeth J. Perry 59
4 New Democracy and the Demise of Private Charity in Shanghai Nara Dillon 80
II Occupying the Periphery 103
5 From Resisting Communists to Resisting America: Civil War and Korean War in Southwest China, 1950-51 Jeremy Brown 105
6 The Chinese Communist "Liberation" of Tibet, 1949-51 Chen Jian 130
7 Big Brother Is Watching: Local Sino-Soviet Relations and the Building of New Dalian 1945-55 Christian A. Hess 160
8 The Call of the Oases: The "Peaceful Liberation" of Xinjiang, 1949-53 James Z. Gao 184
III The Culture of Accommodation 205
9 The Crocodile Bird: Xiangsheng in the Early 1950s Perry Link 207
10 "The Very First Lesson": Teaching about Human Evolution in Early 1950s China Sigrid Schmalzer 232
11 Acting Like Revolutionaries: Shi Hui, the Wenhua Studio, and Private-Sector Filmmaking, 1949-52 Paul G. Pickowicz 256
12 Creating "New China's First New-Style Regular University," 1949-50 Douglas A. Stiffler 288
IV Family Strategies 309
13 The Ye Family in New China Joseph W. Esherick 311
14 Birthing Stories: Rural Midwives in 1950s China Gail Hershatter 337
15 Capitalists Choosing Communist China: The Liu Family of Shanghai, 1948-56 Sherman Cochran 359