The Penguin History of Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850 - 2009

The Penguin History of Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850 - 2009

Jonathan Fenby

Language: English

Pages: 797

ISBN: B002RI92B6

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

'China's reemergence as a global economic powerhouse has compressed into a single generation an industrial and urban revolution on a scale the world has never seen. Its transformation looks to many foreigners, and to millions of newly prosperous Chinese, like a near-miraculous escape from the agonies of its recent history - late imperial, warlord-republican and Maoist. The great merit of Jonathan Fenby's vivid account of the years since 1850 is to underline how heavily that history still weighs on the present' Rosemary Righter, The Times

















clearer. But China had been conquered by an army backed by a political machine as the old order imploded. Despite all the words Mao had written over the decades about the future of the nation, the practical course for the People’s Republic was poorly traced. Nor was it clear how the new regime would legitimize its rule. Those two fundamental weaknesses still face the CCP in the twenty-first century. The leadership came from varied geographical and class backgrounds - the Chairman and Liu Shaoqi

and sent some 150,000 workers to help on development projects, among them the 1,150-mile railway between Lusaka and Dar es Salaam, which involved 25,000 Chinese engineers and was finished in five years, two years ahead of schedule. With the Chairman’s long-term associate Kang Sheng playing a major directing role, the PRC spent large sums on backing its favoured revolutionaries, and opposing what it saw as the increasingly revisionist stance of the USSR. Maoism presented itself as the authentic

side of the bargain with a self-criticism running to 26,500 characters, traced his misdemeanours back to the 1920s and added, in a passage which might have been seen as ironic in other circumstances, that his only route forward lay in learning from Lin Biao how to school himself properly in the Chairman’s works.29 In 1969, Deng was moved to Jiangxi as part of a scheme by Lin to disperse veterans from the capital at a time when there was sudden fear of a Soviet attack, for which they might form a

one-time textile worker the richest self-made woman on earth.39 Or take a chubby man from the coast who had been exiled to Sichuan during the Cultural Revolution and who was visited in the early reform period by the British journalist David Bonavia. The local township had let him establish a metalwork shop with twenty staff. Using the enterprise’s earnings and bank lending, he developed a firm specializing in making reinforcing bars for construction work. Within a decade, it employed 18,000

abroad, and big cities such as Shanghai and Beijing flaunted their material modernity, the capital as it prepared for the 2008 Olympic Games. Hu paid state visits to the United States, Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. At the White House he lectured George W. Bush on democracy as the PRC established itself as the great beneficiary of globalization. Its economic influence was felt in everything from the manufactured and assembled goods flooding outof the mainland to the effects of

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