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The Chinese Communist Party
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Book description

Ten engaging personal histories introduce readers to what it was like to live in and with the most powerful political machine ever created: the Chinese Communist Party. Detailing the life of ten people who led or engaged with the Chinese Communist Party, one each for one of its ten decades of its existence, these essays reflect on the Party's relentless pursuit of power and extraordinary adaptability through the transformative decades since 1921. Demonstrating that the history of the Chinese Communist Party is not one story but many stories, readers learn about paths not taken, the role of chance, ideas and persons silenced, hopes both lost and fulfilled. This vivid mosaic of lives and voices draws together one hundred years of modern Chinese history - and illuminates possible paths for China's future.


‘In this brilliantly structured anthology, the last century of the Chinese Communist Party is told through the perspectives of ten individuals. Their stories are the perfect antidote to heated political rhetoric on China that can obscure the human cost of geopolitical conflicts.’

Joanna Chiu - Toronto Star

‘This collection does something brilliant but increasingly rare in the present day - to treat the Chinese communist movement not as an abstract to be glorified or condemned, but as a series of human moments, complex, sometimes contradictory, and always fascinating. Whether it's a Moscow-returned activist in wartime China or the actions of a Mao-inspired fanatic in Peru, the extraordinary journey of this world-changing movement comes to life in this volume.’

Rana Mitter - author of China's Good War: How World War II is Shaping a New Nationalism

‘The rich and complicated stories in these ‘Ten Moments’ call into question the overly simplistic portrayals of the Chinese Communist Party that dominate our understanding. The erudite but eminently readable tales in this book make cutting-edge scholarship in PRC history and politics accessible to a broad audience.’

Aminda Smith - author of Thought Reform and China’s Dangerous Classes: Reeducation, Resistance, and the People

‘Edited with care and creativity by a trio of accomplished historians, this well paced anthology uses life stories to place the Chinese Communist Party's first century in existence into a fascinating new perspective. An impressive volume.’

Jeffrey Wasserstrom - author of Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink

‘This timely work, compiled by the renowned Sinologists Hans Van de Ven (University of Cambridge), Timothy Cheek (University of British Columbia) and Klaus Mühlhahn (Zeppelin University), illustrates through personal stories why there is not one single narrative about the Party, but many, often wildly contradictory ones.’

Ernst Herb Source: Asia Sentinel

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  • Timeline of the Chinese Communist Party
    pp xviii-xxi

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