The Origins of Chinese Communism

The Origins of Chinese Communism

3.8 (26 ratings by Goodreads)
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Based on a wealth of archival material released after Mao's death, this book offers a revisionist account of the introduction and triumph of Marxism in China. Dirlik shows that, in 1919, at the outset of the May Fourth Movement, anarchism was the predominant ideology among revolutionaries and intellectuals and Marxism was virtually unknown. Three years later, however, the Communist Party of China had emerged as the unchallenged leader of the Left. Dirlik disputes long-held beliefs about the domestic origins of Chinese Communism to argue that Communist thought and organization were brought into radical circles by the Comintern. Though Chinese radicals would not have turned to Communism unassisted, he concludes, Marxist ideology took hold easily when introduced from the outside. This book will prove indispensable to scholars of Chinese history and politics, Asian studies, Marxism, and comparative communism.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 18mm | 439.98g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195054547
  • 9780195054545
  • 1,791,015

Back cover copy

'By far the most detailed, sophisticated, and comprehensive treatment of the origins of the Communist Party of China yet written. It is likely to be the standard work on the origins of the CCP for years to come. It is a gold mine of information and insights. In particular, it provides a very sophisticated analysis of the competing socialist doctrines, especially anarchism, in China at this time; and presents a perceptive account of the influence of the Russian Revolution on Chinese intellectuals.
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Review quote

'highly scholarly and original study of the beginning of Chinese Communism ... a fine example of historical analysis' Times Literary Supplement 'a scholarly reinterpretation of the introduction of Marxism to China in the second decade of this century' Times Higher Education Supplement 'This is a work of most intensive scholarship, one of the few to provide fresh information and insight into the origin and peculiarities of Chinese Communism. It is by far the finest treatment of its subject in the English language since the publication of the original edition of Harold Isaccs' book.' Al Richardson, Revolutionary History 'This is a closely written work with a wealth of new historical detail. It will need to be available for courses on the origins of the CCP, and it deserves also to be included in broader courses on the theory and practice of socialist doctrines.' Peter Ferdinand, Royal Institute of International Affairs, Political Studies, Volume XXXIX Number 1 March 1991 'stimulating book ... Dirlik's closely argued analysis is a major contribution to understanding the complexity of May Fourth radical thought and the process whereby one particular socialism ... gradually supplanted or suppressed its rivals.' History
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Rating details

26 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 23% (6)
4 42% (11)
3 27% (7)
2 8% (2)
1 0% (0)
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