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China After Mao


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From the award-winning author of Mao's Great Famine, a timely and compelling account of China in the wake of Chairman Mao

About the Author

Frank Dikoetter is Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. His books have changed the way historians view China, from the classic The Discourse of Race in Modern China to his award-winning People's Trilogy documenting the lives of ordinary people under Mao. He is married and lives in Hong Kong.


Essential reading for anyone who wants to know what has shaped today's China and what the Chinese Communist Party's choices mean for the rest of the world -- Isabel Hilton * New Statesman Books of the Year *
A clear-eyed and detailed account ... Dikoetter has been mining Chinese primary sources for decades * Observer *
A pulsating account that makes clear how important it is to look beneath the surface when it comes to any period or region in history - but above all to China -- Peter Frankopan * TLS *
Dikoetter's highly-readable primer provides a valuable corrective ... Helps puncture the image of China's inexorable economic rise * New Statesman *
A revolutionary book . . . Breaking with the bland orthodoxy peddled in some of our finest universities, Dikoetter says that China today is a Leviathan where a party, fascist in all but name, controls society ... Dikoetter marshals a daunting array of statistics and documents . . . Historians such as Dikoetter are there to warn -- Michael Sheridan * Sunday Times *
With China After Mao, Dikoetter has told the story of the years after Mao's death in 1976 until the arrival of President Xi . . . Dikoetter, who writes with considerable verve, blasts several holes in the notion that a Marxist-Leninist system can ever bring real reform. The new dictator's reign will not end well, any more than that of his hero. Poor China - a great civilisation suffering under Communist rule -- Chris Patten * New Statesman Books of the Year *
[Dikoetter] draws on official records that have not been widely available to look afresh at the history of the reform and opening period ... Dikoetter sees a party fixated on only one [goal]: keeping itself in power and market forces in check - a goal which, as he sets out in a wealth of detail, has remained consistent ever since * Economist *
Offers a blow-by-blow account of the uneven, reactive and sometimes chaotic course of economic policies . . . China After Mao provides an important corrective to the conventional view of China's rise through reform * Financial Times *
Dikoetter's account is based on inside knowledge of the system both at its core and on the periphery ... A compact account of the momentous changes in China since Mao. As in the 'People's Trilogy,' he carefully amasses inside information and then passes decisive, and usually damning, judgment * The Week *
This is a historian's view of 'Reform and Opening Up' and of the shadow that Mao continues to cast over Chine. China After Mao is comprehensive. Readers will find pre-echoes of the issues that dominate coverage of China . . . Dikoetter masterfully blends the micro-level examples from archives with patient explanations of the economic policies and circumstances behind them and bigger picture narratives of the Chinese state. His wry observations and controlled anger contribute to rendering a complex subject very readable * The Critic *
PRAISE FOR THE PEOPLE'S TRILOGY: 'A brilliant and powerful account ...This excellent book is horrific but essential reading for all who want to understand the darkness that lies at the heart of one of the world's most important revolutions * Guardian *
Powerful ... Bold and startling ... Dikoetter must be admired for the manner in which he puts a human scale on the enormous barbarities of the communist takeover of China. We cannot begin to understand modern China without being aware of the blood-drenched tale Dikoetter so ably relates -- Kwasi Kwarteng * Evening Standard *
A mesmerizing account of the communist revolution in China, and the subsequent transformation of hundreds of millions of lives through violence, coercion and broken promises. The Chinese themselves suppress this history, but for anyone who wants to understand the current Beijing regime, this is essential background reading -- Anne Applebaum
Dikoetter performs here a tremendous service by making legible the hugely controversial origins of the present Chinese political order -- Tim Snyder
A remarkable work of archival research. Dikoetter rarely, if ever, allows the story of central government to dominate by merely reporting a top-down directive. Instead, he tracks down the grassroots impact of Communist policies ... In so doing, he uncovers astonishing stories of party-led inhumanity and also popular resistance ... Dikoetter sustains a strong human dimension to the story by skillfully weaving individual voices through the length of the book * Financial Times *
This groundbreaking book examines the bloodstained reality behind the word and reveals how it brought tragedy to millions ... Dikoetter's achievement in this book is remarkable. He has mastered a mass of original source material, and has done so by mining local archives in China, which have yielded up a host of treasures. * Sunday Times *
Startling ... Dikoetter's work has aimed to demolish almost every claim to truth or virtue the Chinese Communist party ever made. He combines a vivid eye for detail with a historian's diligence in the archives. Powerful ... Dikoetter is unsparing in his account of the effects of the communist rule * Observer *
Harrowing and brilliant ... This is the book that changes your life -- Ben Macintyre * The Times *
Magnificent ... This brilliant book leaves no doubt that Mao almost ruined China and left a legacy of paranoia that still grips its modern dictatorship under the latest autocrat, Xi Jinping -- Michael Sheridan * Sunday Times *
Together, these three books, which Dikoetter calls the 'People's Trilogy', constitute a major contribution to scholarship on modern China, one that is unequalled, certainly in the English language ... His patience and endurance must be considerable and his Chinese-language skills formidable ... Revealing and rewarding reading - for specialists and non-specialists alike * Literary Review *

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