Synopses & Reviews
The original French edition of this book, published in 1967, was widely acclaimed as the best introduction to Chinese Communism ever published. A fresh, bold interpretative survey, it focuses on the dynamic social forces underlying the Chinese Communists' rise in three short decades from obscurity to power.
The author seeks above all to relate the events of this tumultuous period to certain tentative generalizations about the nature and course of the revolution. He is concerned less with the May Fourth Movement as such, for example, than with the revolution's intellectual origins, less with the Communist party's early political history than with the place of Marxist ideology in that history, less with the military aspects of the war of 1937-45 than with the influence of nationalism in the growing success of the Communists.
An important part of the book deals with the various governmental and non-governmental attempt at reform during the Kuomintang era, which the author shows were too little too late to dam the swelling flood of revolution. The conclusion evaluates the crucial role of imperialism, the peasantry, and the army in the Chinese "formula" for revolution and re-examines the relationship between Marxism and the Chinese Revolution.
"Lucien Bianco's study is the best single analysis that we have in such brief compass, not merely because is the most recent, but primarily because it is the most comprehensive, critical, and balanced. It is both a superb summary for beginners and at the same time presents interpretations that all scholars will have to consider."
John K. Fairbank
,Journal of Asian Studies
"Professor Bianco's succinct, lucid, and penetrating study meets an urgent need in synthesizing [recent] studies into a new, broad, overview of the Chinese Communist path to power. . . . One also cannot fail to be impressed by the author's wit and wisdom, his humanity and honesty."
Allen S. Whittig
,Problems of Communism
"An outstanding study of the pre-Communist period by an eminent French scholar who brings a refreshingly different perspective to the problems of the origin of the Chinese Revolution."
About the Author
Lucien Bianco is Directeur d'Etudes at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris.