Dilemmas of Victory: The Early Years of the People's Republic of China

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $27.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 47%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $27.00   
  • New (1) from $123.78   
  • Used (2) from $27.00   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.


Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by


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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

William C. Kirby
The history of the early People's Republic is one of the more exciting frontiers in the study of modern China. These essays show that it is possible to address many central issues in the history of the early 1950s from perspectives other than those of the central government or party. Very well researched and well written, Dilemmas of Victory will receive wide attention, and I recommend it with enthusiasm.
Mark Selden
This important book opens up a critical, and virtually unresearched, period in PRC history in strikingly original ways. Combining strong essays by leading specialists with the creative work of a new generation of scholars, it will be widely discussed by China specialists and comparativists across history, the social sciences, and the humanities.
Thomas P. Bernstein
Strongly recommended. This rich and textured book brings to life a complex period, filling a major gap in our understanding of the early years of the People's Republic of China. In discussing the viability of "New Democracy," the book will provoke debate about how and under what circumstances the transition to socialism began. The many thoroughly researched stories in this important book will be of interest to a large audience.
Chinese Historical Review - Henrietta Harrison
The authors of the essays contained in this volume bring with them an extraordinarily wide range of different disciplinary and personal interests ranging from Chen Jian's political history of the takeover of Tibet, through Perry Link's literary analysis of comic skits, to Gail Hershatter's accounts of the changing lives of rural midwives...[It's] a fascinating read sparking a whole variety of new ways of looking at the 1949 revolution and the early People's Republic.
Choice - L. Teh
Taking advantage of access to new sources in Chinese and even U.S. archives, personal papers, and oral interviews with surviving individuals, these essays compel a reconsideration of the early communist period...Indispensable reading for understanding Chinese society and the nascent communist state in 1949-1953.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674026162
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeremy Brown is Assistant Professor of History, Simon Fraser University.

Paul G. Pickowicz is Distinguished Professor of History and Chinese Studies, University of California, San Diego.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

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

Notes 387

Contributors 445

Index 449

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)