China's Turbulent Quest

China's Turbulent Quest

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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 150 x 230mm
  • Indiana University Press
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0253201578
  • 9780253201577

Review Text

A dense but rather repetitive study of Chinese Communist foreign relations and internal policy conflicts by the author of a major "standard" work, Communist China in World Politics (1966). The prefatory discussion of the legacy of China's past includes a fine summary of twentieth-century political history. Much of the rest of the book reads rather like a compilation of high-level intelligence reports. Hinton emphasizes China's difficulties with the activist, "irreconcilably anti-Chinese" Khrushchev, whom it initially preferred over Malenkov. In dealing with domestic developments, Hinton is usually sound as far as he goes - e.g. when analyzing the Hundred Flowers period in relation to Mao's intra-party jockeying, or the 1969 reduction in the role of the provincial military; but the basic issue of bureaucratic shakeup in both campaigns lies outside his scope. Moreover he is not above speculation on the personal level: he twice invokes the death of Mao's son in Korean combat as an explanatory factor, and posits Madame Mao's hypothetical jealousy of Sukarno's wife's political prominence as an indirect cause of the Cultural Revolution (which he blandly terms a failure by anyone's standards). Hinton adds up past Third World setbacks and present barriers to Chinese sphere-of-influence in Asia; predicts a decline in Maoism and a continuance of social unrest; concludes that China won't become a "true superpower" for ages, if ever, and urges the folly of a "precipitate" U.S. withdrawal from Asia. It's second-guessing Pekingology for the most part rather than profound Sinology - as such, very interesting, and assured of wide attention. Hinton is a member of the George Washington University Institute for Sino-Soviet Studies. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

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