Radicalism, Revolution, and Reform in Modern China: Essays in Honor of Maurice Meisner

Overview

This volume illuminates the relationship of China's radical past to its reformist present as China makes its way forward through contested visions of the future. Is China's history of revolutionary socialism an aberration soon to be forgotten, or can it serve as a resource for a more fully human and radically democratic China, with implications for all of us? Representing a spectrum of current scholarship, the essays collected here look at China's past and present with a view toward better understanding the ...

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Radicalism, Revolution, and Reform in Modern China: Essays in Honor of Maurice Meisner

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Overview

This volume illuminates the relationship of China's radical past to its reformist present as China makes its way forward through contested visions of the future. Is China's history of revolutionary socialism an aberration soon to be forgotten, or can it serve as a resource for a more fully human and radically democratic China, with implications for all of us? Representing a spectrum of current scholarship, the essays collected here look at China's past and present with a view toward better understanding the ideas, ideals, and people who have dared to imagine radical transformation of their worlds and assessing the limitations of these visions and their implementations.

The first half of the book brings new insight to understanding how twentieth-century intellectuals interpreted ideas that allowed them to break with China's past and to envision new paths to a modern future. It treats of communists Chen Duxiu and Mao Zedong, and of Mao in relation to non-communists Liang Shuming and the Dalai Lama. With continuing threads of nation and nationalities, of peasants, utopias and dystopias the book's second half looks broadly at the consequences of radical ideas, at the same time critiquing accepted frameworks of analysis. Chapters investigate the effects of recent reforms on environmental degradation and the emergence of a capitalist rural economy. Independent films give an unsparing view into local society. The book concludes with an analysis of the persistent shibboleth, "the rise of China," and argues for the importance of taking seriously the twentieth-Century history of radicalism in China and its significance for understanding China's present and future potentials.

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Editorial Reviews

China Journal
In this welcome collection of essays, the authors examine many of the issues with which Meisner grappled, from Mao’s utopianism and the role of peasants in the Chinese revolution to China’s relation to American imperialism. This work is especially noteworthy not only because these topics remain relevant today but also because the essays cohere around an important theme: how to understand the legacy of the Chinese Revolution, both historically and with respect to the present.
Lin Chun
The impressive lineup of contributions to this book is timely and refreshing. Together they remind us of what-in a gilded age of dissipation in China-must not be forgotten: an essential critical theorization of China's lost world, in which revolutionary and socialist struggle moved millions upon millions of people who shone in their idealism, heroism, sacrifice and, indeed, common sense.
Marilyn B. Young
This is a volume that does full honor to the historian to whom it is dedicated: Maurice Meisner. The essays, which span the history of revolution and radicalism in China from the 19th to the 21st centuries, raise fundamental questions, not only about the history of China, but about the nature of radical change itself. Each essay insists, as Meisner himself has done throughout his scholarly life, on the relevance of China's revolutionary past to its present and to the present situation of us all.
John Israel
The conference that produced this festschrift was held on the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre-symbolically appropriate to honor Maurice Meisner, whose signal contribution was to test the realities of Chinese Communism against the ideals of Marxism. In contrast to some works of the genre, this festschrift is marked by thematic coherence and academic rigor-a fitting tribute to a distinguished scholar and beloved teacher.
The China Journal
In this welcome collection of essays, the authors examine many of the issues with which Meisner grappled, from Mao’s utopianism and the role of peasants in the Chinese revolution to China’s relation to American imperialism. This work is especially noteworthy not only because these topics remain relevant today but also because the essays cohere around an important theme: how to understand the legacy of the Chinese Revolution, both historically and with respect to the present.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739165720
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 3/31/2011
  • Series: AsiaWorld Series
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Catherine Lynch is Emeritus in the History Department, Eastern Connecticut State University, and Research Fellow in the Institute of Modern Chinese Thought and Culture at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China. Robert B. Marks is the Richard and Billie Deihl Professor of History at Whittier College. Paul G. Pickowicz is Distinguished Professor of History and Chinese Studies and holder of the Endowed Chair in Modern Chinese History at the University of California, San Diego.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Introduction: Chinese Radicalism in Historical Context Catherine Lynch Robert B. Marks Paul G. Pickowicz 1

1 Individualism and Nationalism in the Thought of Chen Duxiu, 1904-1918 Sooyoung Kim 11

2 Radical Visions of Time in Modern China: The Utopianism of Mao Zedong and Liang Shuming Catherine Lynch 29

3 Peasant and Woman in Maoist Revolutionary Theory, 1920s-1950s Tina Mai Chen 55

4 Mao and Tibet Lee Feigon 79

5 Chinese Communists and the Environment Robert B. Marks 105

6 Post-Socialist Capitalism in Rural China Thomas D. Lutze 133

7 Independent Chinese Film: Seeing the Not-Usually-Visible in Rural China Paul G. Pickowicz 161

8 The "Rise of China"? Brace Cumings 185

Index 209

About the Contributors 221

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