Synopses & Reviews
An eye-opening investigation into China's Communist Party and its integral role in the country's rise as a global superpower and rival of the United States
China's political and economic growth in the past three decades is one of astonishing, epochal dimensions. The country has undergone a remarkable transformation on a scale similar to that of the Industrial Revolution in the West. The most remarkable part of this transformation, however, has been left largely untold—the central role of the Chinese Communist Party.
As an organization alone, the Party is a phenomenon of unique scale and power. Its membership surpasses seventy-three million, and it does more than just rule a country. The Party not only has a grip on every aspect of government, from the largest, richest cities to the smallest far-flung villages in Tibet and Xinjiang, it also has a hold on all official religions, the media, and the military. The Party presides over large, wealthy state-owned businesses, and it exercises control over the selection of senior executives of all government companies, many of which are in the top tier of the Fortune 500 list.
In The Party, Richard McGregor delves deeply into China's inner sanctum for the first time, showing how the Communist Party controls the government, courts, media, and military, and how it keeps all corruption accusations against its members in-house. The Party's decisions have a global impact, yet the CPC remains a deeply secretive body, hostile to the law, unaccountable to anyone or anything other than its own internal tribunals. It is the world's only geopolitical rival of the United States, and is steadfastly poised to think the worst of the West.
In this provocative and illuminating account, Richard McGregor offers a captivating portrait of China's Communist Party, its grip on power and control over China, and its future.
"McGregor, a journalist at the Financial Times, begins his revelatory and scrupulously reported book with a provocative comparison between China's Communist Party and the Vatican for their shared cultures of secrecy, pervasive influence, and impenetrability. The author pulls back the curtain on the Party to consider its influence over the industrial economy, military, and local governments. McGregor describes a system operating on a Leninist blueprint and deeply at odds with Western standards of management and transparency. Corruption and the tension between decentralization and national control are recurring themes--and are highlighted in the Party's handling of the disturbing Sanlu case, in which thousands of babies were poisoned by contaminated milk powder. McGregor makes a clear and convincing case that the 1989 backlash against the Party, inexorable globalization, and technological innovations in communication have made it incumbent on the Party to evolve, and this smart, authoritative book provides valuable insight into how it has--and has not--met the challenge. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“Few outsiders have any realistic sense of the innards, motives, rivalries, and fears of the Chinese Communist leadership. But we all know much more than before, thanks to Richard McGregors illuminating and richly-textured look at the people in charge of Chinas political machinery.... Invaluable.” — James Fallows, National Correspondent for The Atlantic
The Party is Financial Times reporter Richard McGregors eye-opening investigation into Chinas Communist Party, and the integral role it has played in the countrys rise as a global superpower and rival to the United States. Many books have examined Chinas economic rise, human rights record, turbulent history, and relations with the U.S.; none until now, however, have tackled the issue central to understanding all of these issues: how the ruling communist government works. The Party delves deeply into Chinas secretive political machine.
A gripping account of China’s failed attempt at social engineering and its pervasive effects on the Chinese people
An intimate investigation of the world’s largest experiment in social engineering, revealing how China became what it is today, where it’s inevitably headed, and the implications for the rest of the world
China adopted its one-child policy in 1979, exercising unprecedented control over the reproductive habits of more than one billion people. China now seems poised to overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy, but this law may be its undoing. The Soviet Union collapsed because of its wrongheaded attempt to engineer the market. What will come of China’s attempt to engineer its population? Mei Fong reveals the true human impact of government-mandated family planning, traveling across China to meet the people who live with its consequences. Their stories reveal a dystopian reality: unauthorized second children ignored by the state, only children supporting aging parents and grandparents on their own, villages teeming with ineligible bachelors. This demographic imbalance, Fong argues, will lead to further economic and societal turmoil in the years to come. Fong has spent over a decade documenting the repercussions of the one-child policy on every sector of Chinese society. She offers a nuanced and candid account of government planning gone awry.
About the Author
MEI FONG is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist with over a decade of reporting in Asia, most recently as China correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. She is a winner of Amnesty’s Human Rights Press Award, a 2013 recipient of a Ford Foundation grant for investigative journalism, and a 2015 New America Fellow. Her writing has also appeared in the Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, Salon, Forbes, and Far Eastern Economic Review. She has appeared on CNBC, CNN, National Public Radio, South China Post, and Singapore Straits Times.