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North Castle Books

The Rise to Power of the Chinese Communist Party: Documents and Analysis
Edited by: Tony Saich

Cloth ISBN: 978-1-56324-154-3 Paper ISBN: 978-1-56324-155-0
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USD: $321.95 USD: $72.95
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Available to all countries
Information: 1504pp. Bibliography, chronology, index.
Publication Date: January 1996.   Prepared under the Auspices of the John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, Harvard University


Description: The documents translated in this volume permit for the first time in 40 years a comprehensive reappraisal of the rise to power of the Communist movement. They provide a complex picture of the party's policies and its relationship to different social forces in the countryside and cities, shed new light on the development of the CCP as an organization and its internal diversity, and demonstrate how Mao Zedong skillfully outmaneuvered his opponents to rule the party.

This book is of enormous significance to scholars of China's modern history and Chinese communist politics, and is a major addition to the literature on comparative politics, development, and revolutions. If we can fully comprehend the course of the Chinese revolution, we will have a better base for evolving theories about why communism and revolution have been so much less successful in other third world countries.

Selected Contents:

Chronology of the Chinese Communist Movement, 1919-1949; General Introduction; Commentary A The Founding of the CCP and the Origins of Cooperation with the GMD, 1920-1923 (30 documents); Commentary B Cooperation and Conflict with the Nationalists: The United Front in Action, 1924-July 1927 (28 documents); Commentary C The Sixth Party Congress and the Upsurge of Communist Rebellions, July 1927-1930 (26 documents)
Commentary D The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Movement in Central China, 1931-January 1935 (23 documents); Commentary E Transition from the Civil War to the United Front, 1935-1938 (31 documents); Commentary F Problems in the United Front, 1939-1941 (21 documents); Commentary G Establishing the Orthodoxy, September 1941-April 1945 (25 documents); Commentary H The Slide to Civil War and Preparation for Rule, 1945-1949 (28 documents).

Comment(s): "The collection is superb, and Dr. Saich's introductory essay and analyses are first-rate." -- Dennis J. Doolin, The University of Maryland

Review(s): "A major contribution toward our understanding of the Chinese Revolution. Saich couches his presentation of 212 major Communist Party documents in compelling analyses ... which, together with his thirty-page general introduction, provide a 'cutting edge' interpretation and, I think, the best short history of the rise of the Chinese Communist Party. ... The range of document types gives this work its richness. ...Yet another strength ... is the editor's choice to highlight particular episodes that were especially significant by including several relevant documents on them, an approach that allows the reader to see various sides of the issues and various existential possibilities. ... It is ... difficult to call any book 'indispensable,' but for those interested in the history of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese revolution, this one comes closest to deserving that accolade." -- China Review International

"Bring[s] together more than 200 of the most significant CCP documents over a tumultuous three decades. ... Many ... excellent insights." -- The China Quarterly

"A major contribution. ... The choice of texts is judicious; the interpretation is always thoughtful and generally convincing. The translations are readable and sound. ... An extremely valuable collection of source materials, fully annotated so that they can be used and understood by students with a relatively limited background in Chinese history, and wide-ranging enough to be interesting and stimulating even to those who know a great deal about the subject. ... This book should be in every library concerned not only with China, but with history and politics in general." -- The China Quarterly

"The commentaries are on the whole informative and sufficiently brief not to overwhelm the texts." -- China Information

"Nearly 1,500 well-selected, meticulously translated and annotated pages of documents about internal struggles in the CCP, accompanied by a brilliant commentary." -- The China Journal

"A superb collection of documents, with excellent annotations and model introductions to each section of the book. ... An exceptionally well turned out work. It will be an essential source for all who seek to understand the great Chinese revolution as it has unfolded in our century." -- Pacific Affairs

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