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

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

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by Richard McGregor
     
 

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In this provocative and illuminating account, Richard McGregor offers a captivating portrait of China’s Communist Party, its grip on power and control over China, and its future.

China’s political and economic growth in the past three decades has been one of astonishing, epochal dimensions. The most remarkable part of this transformation, however,

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Overview

In this provocative and illuminating account, Richard McGregor offers a captivating portrait of China’s Communist Party, its grip on power and control over China, and its future.

China’s political and economic growth in the past three decades has been one of astonishing, epochal dimensions. The most remarkable part of this transformation, however, has been left largely untold—the central role of the Chinese Communist Party. In The Party, Richard McGregor delves deeply into China’s inner sanctum for the first time, showing how the Communist Party controls the government, courts, media, and military and keeps all corruption accusations against its members in-house. The Party’s decisions have a global impact, yet the CCP remains a deeply secretive body, hostile to the law and unaccountable to anyone or anything other than its own internal tribunals. It is the world’s only geopolitical rival of the United States, and is primed to think the worst of the West.

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Editorial Reviews

Isabel Hilton
“A compelling exploration of the world’s largest and most successful political machine.”
Jonathan Fenby
“Superb in its depiction and demystification of the most important force at work in China today. Essential , riveting guide to how the rising power really works.”
Bill Emmott
“This is a marvellous and finely written study of how China is really run, and how its strange but successful system of Leninist capitalism really works. It should be read by anyone doing business with or just trying to understand China.”
James Fallows
“Illuminating and richly-textured. . . . The Party will be invaluable for anyone trying to make sense of China’s future plans and choices. It has certainly enriched my own understanding of the country.”
Ezra Vogel
“Richard McGregor is one of the best foreign journalists who have ever reported from China. The Party is a fine contribution for those who want to know about the rising power they will face in the decades ahead.”
Ian Johnson
“Masterful. . . . McGregor’s book is proof that for all of its secretive tendencies, the Party and its power can be usefully analyzed. . . . An accessible introduction to the Party’s power in today’s China.”
Esquire
“Fascinating. . . . The Party examines the intricate relationship between the Communist Party and the Chinese government, exposing how a political machine subverts the will to properly govern a billion people.”
The Associated Press
The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers is a careful, highly well-informed and entertaining account of China’s ruling class, chronicling the country’s 30-year rise to major economic power despite high levels of poverty.”
The Financial Times
“As informative as it is entertaining. . . . China has been transformed. There is no denying it. The system that takes the credit is brilliantly described by McGregor.”
The Wall Street Journal
“Fascinating. . . . Illuminating. . . . Mr. McGregor guides readers through recent events in China, teasing out what each tells us about the Party’s role. . . . Reading this primer will help foreigners better navigate the hidden political shoals of the Chinese business world.”
The Washington Times
“Richard McGregor has penned a detailed look at the Chinese Communist Party that is must reading for U.S. officials and China affairs specialists who profess to be perplexed at why the regime in Beijing consistently operates like a Soviet-style communist dictatorship and not a Western-style democracy.”
The Washington Post
“An illuminating and important new book. . . . A lively and penetrating account of a party that, since its founding in Shanghai as a clandestine organization in 1921, has clung to secrecy as an inviolable principle.”
Esquire
“Fascinating. . . . The Party examines the intricate relationship between the Communist Party and the Chinese government, exposing how a political machine subverts the will to properly govern a billion people.”
The Economist
“A masterful depiction of the party today. . . . McGregor illuminates the most important of the contradictions and paradoxes. . . . An entertaining and insightful portrait of China’s secretive rulers.”
The Sunday Times (London)
“An extraordinary book . . . with details never published before. . . . McGregor has done a terrific job of parting the curtains. . . . This book has come out at the right moment.”
Bloomberg
“Astute. . . . A sober, realistic book. . . . A readable guide to how China is governed.”
Forbes
“A fascinating and ambitious book. . . . Revealing. . . . McGregor lays bare the secretive machinery of the party, how it operates far more pervasively in public life and commerce than many suspect.”
Newsweek
“McGregor does a persuasive job of sketching how communist the country really still is. . . . Anyone who wants to understand more about China would be well advised to pick up McGregor’s book.
The South China Morning Post
“An engrossing read. . . . McGregor’s is a vivid narrative, sprinkled with humour and insightful analysis, of how the party has imprinted itself on almost every aspect of life in China, and how it has maintained its stranglehold on power.”
The Economist
“A masterful depiction of the party today. . . . McGregor illuminates the most important of the contradictions and paradoxes. . . . An entertaining and insightful portrait of China’s secretive rulers.”
Forbes
“A fascinating and ambitious book. . . . Revealing. . . . McGregor lays bare the secretive machinery of the party, how it operates far more pervasively in public life and commerce than many suspect.”
Newsweek
“McGregor does a persuasive job of sketching how communist the country really still is. . . . Anyone who wants to understand more about China would be well advised to pick up McGregor’s book.
The Financial Times
“As informative as it is entertaining. . . . China has been transformed. There is no denying it. The system that takes the credit is brilliantly described by McGregor.”
Bloomberg
“Astute. . . . A sober, realistic book. . . . A readable guide to how China is governed.”
The Associated Press
The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers is a careful, highly well-informed and entertaining account of China’s ruling class, chronicling the country’s 30-year rise to major economic power despite high levels of poverty.”
The South China Morning Post
“An engrossing read. . . . McGregor’s is a vivid narrative, sprinkled with humour and insightful analysis, of how the party has imprinted itself on almost every aspect of life in China, and how it has maintained its stranglehold on power.”
The Washington Post
“An illuminating and important new book. . . . A lively and penetrating account of a party that, since its founding in Shanghai as a clandestine organization in 1921, has clung to secrecy as an inviolable principle.”
The Sunday Times (London)
“An extraordinary book . . . with details never published before. . . . McGregor has done a terrific job of parting the curtains. . . . This book has come out at the right moment.”
The Wall Street Journal
“Fascinating. . . . Illuminating. . . . Mr. McGregor guides readers through recent events in China, teasing out what each tells us about the Party’s role. . . . Reading this primer will help foreigners better navigate the hidden political shoals of the Chinese business world.”
The Washington Times
“Richard McGregor has penned a detailed look at the Chinese Communist Party that is must reading for U.S. officials and China affairs specialists who profess to be perplexed at why the regime in Beijing consistently operates like a Soviet-style communist dictatorship and not a Western-style democracy.”
Publishers Weekly
McGregor, a journalist at the Financial Times, begins his revelatory and scrupulously reported book with a provocative comparison between China’s Communist Party and the Vatican for their shared cultures of secrecy, pervasive influence, and impenetrability. The author pulls back the curtain on the Party to consider its influence over the industrial economy, military, and local governments. McGregor describes a system operating on a Leninist blueprint and deeply at odds with Western standards of management and transparency. Corruption and the tension between decentralization and national control are recurring themes--and are highlighted in the Party’s handling of the disturbing Sanlu case, in which thousands of babies were poisoned by contaminated milk powder. McGregor makes a clear and convincing case that the 1989 backlash against the Party, inexorable globalization, and technological innovations in communication have made it incumbent on the Party to evolve, and this smart, authoritative book provides valuable insight into how it has--and has not--met the challenge. (July)
Library Journal
McGregor (China bureau chief, Financial Times) reveals the inner workings of China's political structure and the mechanisms that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) needs to manipulate the country's business, government, courts, media, and military. Not only, as McGregor shows, is the CCP pervasive in almost every aspect of citizens' lives, but it also carefully conceals corruption and human rights abuses by sheltering its own members from any hint of criticism. Although a superpower second only to the United States in global influence and modernization, China continues to be ruled by men in an anachronistic bubble reminiscent of the country's imperial past, reticent and mysterious to its people and the rest of the world. In tracing the bureaucracy and its leadership, from Mao Zedong to current president Hu Jintao, McGregor documents how such an extraordinary political machine—it has over 73 million members—with complete control of all areas from the largest cities to the tiniest hamlets, is run like a modern-day corporation, from selecting its own senior managers for all government offices to rewarding its card-holding members through a patronage system. VERDICT McGregor's portrait unravels the ambiguities surrounding this secretive state's party apparatus. Recommended for all seeking to keep current on Chinese political history.—Allan Cho, Univ. of British Columbia Lib., Vancouver
Kirkus Reviews
A remarkably in-depth infiltration of the shadowy organization of Chinese leadership. Expert observers of China's astounding economic explosion do not agree on what kind of model the country seems to be following: Is it Western, Eastern or something entirely of its own making? In this careful study, McGregor, former China bureau chief at the Financial Times, asserts that just "under the hood" of the Chinese model is the classic "Leninist playbook" embracing the "three pillars of its survival strategy: control of personnel, propaganda and the People's Liberation Army [PLA]." The author examines each in turn, using archival material and a skillful deployment of interview subjects, including a provincial member of the "Central Organization Department," which oversees appointments and maintains files on all top-level officials in the public sector. McGregor manages to penetrate the "pathological secrecy" surrounding the inner workings of Chinese power, exploring how the leadership has managed to loosen and gain control at the same time ("grasp the big, let go of the small"), both in terms of businesses and the private lives of the Chinese people. After the debacle of Tiananmen Square in 1989, which ushered in a nationwide mood of democracy, the PLA was purged and modernized, at huge expense. Emerging as "an instrument of international statecraft for China," it continues to employ hostility toward Taiwan as a useful way of holding down an anti-imperialist threat. The author delves into corruption-and the accepted belief that one must employ corruption to be successful-the cut-throat "Darwinian internal competition" within the far-flung localities, recent product scandals such as Sanlu's tainted infant formula and attempts at confronting the tragedy of the Cultural Revolution. An astute, well-crafted work that should be enormously useful in understanding China's role in the world. Agent: Gail Ross/Gail Ross Literary Agency

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061708763
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/31/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
595,180
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

Jonathan Fenby
“Superb in its depiction and demystification of the most important force at work in China today. Essential , riveting guide to how the rising power really works.”
Ian Johnson
“Masterful. . . . McGregor’s book is proof that for all of its secretive tendencies, the Party and its power can be usefully analyzed. . . . An accessible introduction to the Party’s power in today’s China.”
James Fallows
“Illuminating and richly-textured. . . . The Party will be invaluable for anyone trying to make sense of China’s future plans and choices. It has certainly enriched my own understanding of the country.”
Ezra Vogel
“Richard McGregor is one of the best foreign journalists who have ever reported from China. The Party is a fine contribution for those who want to know about the rising power they will face in the decades ahead.”
Isabel Hilton
“A compelling exploration of the world’s largest and most successful political machine.”
Bill Emmott
“This is a marvellous and finely written study of how China is really run, and how its strange but successful system of Leninist capitalism really works. It should be read by anyone doing business with or just trying to understand China.”

Read More

Meet the Author

Richard McGregor is a reporter for the Financial Times and the publication’s former China bureau chief. He has reported from North Asia for nearly two decades and lives in Washington, D.C.

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