From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright 1995 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
In the past decade, China's dramatic economic growth has captured the world's attention. But there is still lingering uncertainty about its future, emerging from the inconsistencies of China's current political situation. The long history of periodic political turmoil has revealed some fundamental and inherent weaknesses of the Chinese political system. Lieberthal, an experienced China scholar, provides a systematic approach toward an understanding of the complex governing organizations of China from its imperial past, through the 20th-century revolutions, both Nationalist and Communist, until the current regime. Unlike many other China experts, Lieberthal doesn't make any predictions. Through a close look at the largest bureaucratic structures, the actual allocations of power in front and behind the organizational facade, he illuminates the difficult issues and challenges facing contemporary China. Highly recommended.?Mark Meng, St. John's Univ. Lib., New York
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.