Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village

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More than forty years after its initial publication, William Hinton’s Fanshen continues to be the essential volume for those fascinated with China’s revolutionary process of rural reform and social change. A pioneering work, Fanshan is a marvelous and revealing look into life in the Chinese countryside, where tradition and modernity have had both a complimentary and caustic relationship in the years since the Chinese Communist Party first came to power. It is a rare, concrete record of social struggle and transformation, as witnessed by a participant. Fanshen continues to offer profound insight into the lives of peasants and China’s complex social processes. Rediscover this classic volume, which includes a new preface by Fred Magdoff.

Literally it means "to turn the body." This is the story of how the peasants of Long Bow Village built a new world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Fanshen is an extraordinary book. It will dispose of many myths, both those of the Left and of the Right.-C. P. Fitzgerald,The Nation

Fanshen is an important book. . . . It is an arresting narrative [on] the agonizing story of rural China in turmoil…told with a remarkable evenness of temper and a rare understanding of human weaknesses and strengths. The lessons of Long Bow village, so movingly and compassionately recorded…should be studied and restudied by all.-C. T. Hsu,Saturday Review

One of the most important books about China which has been written since the Revolution. . . . For anyone who wants to understand anything important about the Chinese revolution of our time, the reading of this book is an absolute necessity.-Joseph Needham,London Tribune

A vivid and compelling ‘grass-roots’ account of life in the village precisely during the period in which the new Communist power was establishing itself. . . . [A] unique contribution to our understanding of life in a northern Chinese village on the eve of the Communist takeover.-Benjamin Schwartz,New York Times Book Review

Agricultural History
...[R]ecounts the essence of the anti-imperialist, antifeudal revolution that transformed rural China in the first half of this century.
Agricultural History
...[R]ecounts the essence of the anti-imperialist, antifeudal revolution that transformed rural China in the first half of this century.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583671757
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 672
  • Sales rank: 1,482,526
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

William Hinton (1919-2004) was a farmer in Vermont and a legendary figure in the U.S. left. He wrote many books on post-revolutionary China, including Through a Glass Darkly, Iron Oxen, The Great Reversal, Hundred Day War, Shenfan, and Turning Point in China.

Fred Magdoff taught at the University of Vermont in Burlington, is a director of the Monthly Review Foundation, and has written on political economy for many years. He is most recently the author (with John Bellamy Foster) of The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences (Monthly Review Press).

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