Governing China: From Revolution Through Reform

Kenneth Lieberthal, Author
Kenneth Lieberthal, Author W. W. Norton & Company $30 (498p) ISBN 978-0-393-03787-6
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Hardcover - 498 pages - 978-0-393-96714-2
Paperback - 978-0-393-96987-0
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University of Michigan political science professor Lieberthal here presents a devastating critique of Mao's rule and its disastrous legacy. In the Maoist movement's peasant-based, military path to power, he perceives the roots of many characteristics of post-1949 China--for example, the close interlocking of party and army, repeated attacks on intellectuals, and mass political campaigns. Lieberthal credits Deng Xiaoping of the late 1970s and early '80s as an innovative reformer, an improvisational genius who effected a conscious reduction in the government's control of social and economic activity. This engrossing text also provides an amazingly detailed blueprint of modern China's power elite, their propaganda and coercive systems. Lieberthal, an adviser to the State Department and the World Bank, details the clash of China's new generation of technocrats and its stagnant gerontocracy as he discusses such issues as political succession, managing the economy and limiting environmental damage. China, which now has the world's largest armed forces, will remain authoritarian in the foreseeable future, he believes, even as it makes enormous economic advances. (Apr.)
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