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From Rebel to Ruler

One Hundred Years of the Chinese Communist Party

Tony Saich



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Harvard Uni.Press Academi
06 July 2021
On the centennial of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, the definitive history of how Mao and his successors overcame incredible odds to gain and keep power.

Mao Zedong and the twelve other young men who founded the Chinese Communist Party in 1921 could hardly have imagined that less than thirty years later they would be rulers. On its hundredth anniversary, the party remains in command, leading a nation primed for global dominance.

Tony Saich tells the authoritative, comprehensive story of the Chinese Communist Party-its rise to power against incredible odds, its struggle to consolidate rule and overcome self-inflicted disasters, and its thriving amid other communist parties' collapse. Saich argues that the brutal Japanese invasion in the 1930s actually helped the party. As the Communists retreated into the countryside, they established themselves as the populist, grassroots alternative to the Nationalists, gaining the support they would need to triumph in the civil war. Once in power, however, the Communists faced the difficult task of learning how to rule. Saich examines the devastating economic consequences of Mao's Great Leap Forward and the political chaos of the Cultural Revolution, as well as the party's rebound under Deng Xiaoping's reforms.

Leninist systems are thought to be rigid, yet the Chinese Communist Party has proved adaptable. From Rebel to Ruler shows that the party owes its endurance to its flexibility. But is it nimble enough to realize Xi Jinping's China Dream ? Challenges are multiplying, as the growing middle class makes new demands on the state and the ideological retreat from communism draws the party further from its revolutionary roots. The legacy of the party may be secure, but its future is anything but guaranteed.
By:   Tony Saich
Imprint:   Harvard Uni.Press Academi
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm,  Spine: 15mm
Weight:   666g
ISBN:   9780674988118
ISBN 10:   0674988116
Pages:   560
Publication Date:   06 July 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Tony Saich is Daewoo Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School. His books include Finding Allies and Making Revolution: The Early Years of the Chinese Communist Party and Governance and Politics of China.

Reviews for From Rebel to Ruler: One Hundred Years of the Chinese Communist Party

An extremely lucid, insightful history of the Chinese Communist Party. Saich's readable narrative takes the CCP from its origins as a tiny group of revolutionaries in Shanghai a century ago to the powerful, repressive rulers of a world power today. From Rebel to Ruler should stand as an authoritative account of the party's development. -- James Mann, author of <i>The China Fantasy</i> The Chinese Communist Party is one of the most important, yet least understood, political organizations in the world today. Saich has produced a superb interpretation of the party for its hundredth anniversary. From Rebel to Ruler is both deep and nuanced in the account of its history, and incisive on the unique combination in the party under Xi Jinping of ideology, pragmatism, and sheer brute force. -- Rana Mitter, author of <i>China's Good War</i> The definitive, candid, and absorbing history of a political organization that counts 90 million members and indisputably rules as America's most powerful rival. Drawing on priceless contacts made in China over decades, Saich describes how ideological underpinnings, ruthless campaigns, and the 'coercing of conformity' pushed the CCP through revolutionary zeal to its current all-powerful position. A vital account, based on magnificent research, that shows the party as a colossal, relentless, and enduring machine. -- Jane Perlez, former Beijing Bureau Chief, <i>New York Times</i> An unpretentious, humane, and deeply informed history of the Chinese Communist Party. Saich, whose considerable time in China adds depth and understanding to this excellent book, offers a clear narrative that does justice to the earlier history as well as present concerns. This will be our most reliable account of the history of the CCP for a generation. -- Timothy Cheek, author of <i>The Intellectual in Modern Chinese History</i> Saich is a surehanded and deeply knowledgeable guide in this highly accessible tour of the entire sweep of the Chinese Communist Party's century-long history. While the party now projects a self-image of unity, competence, and strength, Saich recounts a narrative replete with internal strife, uncertainty, and deep-seated insecurity. His reflections on the future of the party, and China, are sobering. -- Andrew G. Walder, author of <i>China Under Mao</i>

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