Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 May 2021
The introduction provides a summary of three possible ways to tell the story of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP): as the Chinese mirror or foil, as it appears in international media; as the Chinese Dream, as recounted by Xi Jinping and the Party’s propagandists; and as a Chinese mosaic, or scenes from the lives of particular individuals at particular moments. The editors identify this final approach as theirs. They discuss the controversial role played by the CCP in 20th- and 21st-century China and argue that grand narratives which portray the Party in a wholly positive or negative light obscure individual perspectives on life as it was actually lived under Chinese socialism. Finally, they stress the importance of gaining a more accurate understanding of the CCP in light of recent political and economic developments in the PRC and abroad.