The Rise of the Chinese Republic: From the Last Emperor to Deng Xiaoping

Edwin Palmer Hoyt, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $0 (355p) ISBN 978-0-07-030619-6
``Americans do not like to think of their country as imperialist, yet in relationship to China it most definitely was,'' writes Hoyt, whose books include Japan's War and The Militarists. He argues that the Taiping Rebellion of 1851, a full-scale people's uprising which cost 20 million Chinese lives, would have succeeded in overthrowing Imperial rule had it not been for American, British, French and Russian intervention. When the Americans threw their support behind the oppressive Dowager Empress Ci Xi, the enormous indemnity of gold they demanded from the Qing dynasty rulers impoverished the nation; in effect, China belonged to foreigners, and Hoyt shows how the common people's mistrust of Western powers paved the way for communism. Vivid, engrossing and opinionated, this brilliant political-military chronicle opens the reader's eyes to the way the Chinese have experienced their own history, and how they perceive the West. Hoyt believes that Chiang Kai-shek ultimately would have thrown out foreign imperialists, including the Americans. Although he views modern China as an oligarchy capable of swinging toward personal dictatorship, he nevertheless maintains that the People's Republic could become a democracy within a generation or two. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 355 pages - 978-0-306-80426-7
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