Frank Dikoetter China After Mao: The Rise of a Superpower

€20.99

Code 9781526634290
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Description

From the Samuel Johnson Prize-winning author of Mao's Great Famine, a timely and compelling account of China in the wake of Chairman Mao.

In China After Mao, award-winning historian Frank Dikoetter explores how the People's Republic of China was transformed from a backwater economy in the 1970s into the world superpower of today. His account is the first to be based on hundreds of previously unseen archival documents, from the secret minutes of top party meetings to confidential bank reports. Unfolding with great narrative sweep, this riveting, richly detailed chronicle recasts our understanding of an era that both the regime and foreign admirers celebrate as an economic miracle.

In charting four decades of so-called 'Reform and Opening Up' and China's emergence as a world power, Dikoetter tells a fascinating tale of contradictions and illusions, of shadow banking, anti-corruption drives and extreme state wealth standing alongside everyday poverty. He examines China's approach to the 2008 financial crash, the country's increasing hostility towards perceived Western interference and its development into a thoroughly entrenched dictatorship - one equipped with a sprawling security apparatus and the most sophisticated surveillance system in the world. Ultimately, the book concludes, the communist party's goal was never to join the democratic sphere, but to resist it - and then defeat it.

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'A brilliant and powerful account ...This excellent book is horrific but essential reading for all who want to understand the darkness that lies at the heart of one of the world's most important revolutions'
- Guardian

'Powerful ... Bold and startling ... Dikoetter must be admired for the manner in which he puts a human scale on the enormous barbarities of the communist takeover of China. We cannot begin to understand modern China without being aware of the blood-drenched tale Dikoetter so ably relates'
- Kwasi Kwarteng, Evening Standard

'A mesmerizing account of the communist revolution in China, and the subsequent transformation of hundreds of millions of lives through violence, coercion and broken promises. The Chinese themselves suppress this history, but for anyone who wants to understand the current Beijing regime, this is essential background reading'
- Anne Applebaum

'Dikoetter performs here a tremendous service by making legible the hugely controversial origins of the present Chinese political order'
- Tim Snyder

'A remarkable work of archival research. Dikoetter rarely, if ever, allows the story of central government to dominate by merely reporting a top-down directive. Instead, he tracks down the grassroots impact of Communist policies ... In so doing, he uncovers astonishing stories of party-led inhumanity and also popular resistance ... Dikoetter sustains a strong human dimension to the story by skillfully weaving individual voices through the length of the book'
- Financial Times

'This groundbreaking book examines the bloodstained reality behind the word and reveals how it brought tragedy to millions ... Dikoetter's achievement in this book is remarkable. He has mastered a mass of original source material, and has done so by mining local archives in China, which have yielded up a host of treasures.'
- Sunday Times

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