The Changing Face of China: From Mao to Market

The Changing Face of China: From Mao to Market

by John Gittings
     
 

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Where is China heading in the 21st century? Can its Communist Party survive or is it being challenged by growing inequality and unrest? Will the US and China cooperate or compete in a dangerous future? Will China's economic boom be brought to a halt by environmental catastrophe? In this highly readable account, John Gittings provides the essential information to…  See more details below

Overview

Where is China heading in the 21st century? Can its Communist Party survive or is it being challenged by growing inequality and unrest? Will the US and China cooperate or compete in a dangerous future? Will China's economic boom be brought to a halt by environmental catastrophe? In this highly readable account, John Gittings provides the essential information to help answer these vital questions for the world. In the 60 years since Mao Zedong took the road to victory, China has undergone not one but two revolutions. The first swept away the old corrupt society and sought to build a 'spotless' new socialism behind closed doors; the second since Mao's death has focused on an economic agenda which accepts the goals of global capitalism. From Mao to the global market, Gittings charts this complex but epic tale and concludes with some hard questions for the future.

Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
Gittings, a veteran Western journalist long based in Hong Kong and then Shanghai, has written a vivid history of Communist China. Drawing on his firsthand experience, he recaptures the simultaneous absurdity and utopian idealism of the Mao era and depicts the conflicting sentiments of China-watchers as they observed the power struggles of that time. Troubled by his belief that the Western press was not entirely fair in its coverage of China, he at many points gives China the benefit of the doubt where others have not. Moving forward to the post-Mao era, he offers a history of China's economic rise that is more than just a chronicle of production statistics. (He includes, for example, the production of China's writers and poets.) Looking to the future, Gittings anticipates the gradual expansion of politics but not the disintegration of the party. He identifies economic problems, but none that will fundamentally threaten China's progress. He is most pessimistic about environmental degradation and the escalating demands of a growing population on an inadequate natural-resource base — especially the limited water supply. Yan'an, Mao's wartime capital, recently had to make do with only one and a half hours of running water every three days.
From the Publisher
"The Changing Face of China provides a wonderfully written rich tapestry of a nation in which everything has changed and is likely to continue to change."—John Bryan Starr, The Historian

"The best single-volume history of the People's Republic of China from 1949 to the present."—Rana Mitter, author of A Bitter Revolution: China's Struggle with the Modern World

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780191622373
Publisher:
OUP Oxford
Publication date:
07/21/2005
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

John Gittings was China specialist and East Asia editor for London's Guardian newspaper for twenty years, witnessing the many pivotal events of the eighties and nineties. He has also taught at the Polytechnic of Central London. His books include works on Chinese foreign policy, military affairs, politics, and domestic society.

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