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Hu Jintao: China's Silent Ruler Hardcover – March 26, 2012

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

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"Kerry Brown has written an outstandingly insightful book on Hu Jintao. This is not only the first English-language biography of one of the most powerful and also most enigmatic political leaders in the world today, but also an invaluable guide to contemporary China and its prospects." --Dr Julia Lovell, Birkbeck, University of London

"In Hu Jintao: China's Silent Ruler, Kerry Brown offers a comprehensive and informative account of Hu Jintao's leadership of China during the crucial first decade of the twenty-first century. Brown assesses the policy successes and shortcomings of Hu's leadership in such critical areas as Chinese economics, foreign policy, the Chinese Communist Party, and social stability. Brown's wide-ranging analysis establishes the benchmark for any future study of Hu Jintao's presidency." --Professor Robert Ross, Boston College

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Over the six-month period from late 2012 to early 2013, Hu Jintao, the President of the People's Republic of China, Chair of the Central Military Commission, and Party Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), will relinquish at least two of his three positions. According to the constitution of the CCP, his time as Party head will come to an end, given that he has already served for two terms. Well over the supposed retirement age of 68, he will have to hand over the leadership of China to a new generation of leaders at the 18th Party Congress in Beijing. In Chinese politics, the act of retirement is surprisingly difficult, but Hu Jintao is widely known for his reserve and reticence; there is little doubt that he could disappear into a quiet and anonymous retirement if he so desires.

This timely volume thus aims to provide an analytical assessment of Hu's period in charge of the world's most populous country. It concentrates briefly on his early life and entry into politics, then considers and evaluates his stewardship of the economy and of international affairs, as well as his ideological contribution and leadership of the communist party. In the process, the reader will also be afforded a broad overview of China's rapid developments over the last decade, since 2002.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company (March 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9814350028
  • ISBN-13: 978-9814350020
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,732,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
The book's title is misleading in that it addresses the changes that have taken place in China in the past 10 years-the duration of Hu's tenure. But while this s interesting from a political scientist's point of view, it does nothing to inform us about Hu.
Indeed, the opening chapter, The Life, is remarkably lazy, incomplete and even wrong.
Hu has, after all, been in the public eye since he was a teenager: he won a public scholarship to one of China's most famous universities and studied at its most prestigious school (Engineering). Not only that; he was elected President of the Student Union at the end of his first year and administered a staff of 200. (Student Unions in China play a major role in university administration).
So here is Hu (a keen ballroom dancer and singer) as a teenager at a famous university running its most prestigious student organization while scoring straight A's...remaining unknown?
I could go on..I will, in fact...he was always famous for his humility, which endeared him to his future father-in-law, not to mention the Chinese people. And for his filial piety-also a biggie in a Confucian country. Great stories and examples are there for the picking but the author preferred to push the familiar line of "faceless bureaucrat, never gves interviews, etc."
Oh well. I gave up after the first chapter. I hope that someone with the patience to persist will give us a review of the rest of the book.
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