Transforming Russia and China: Revolutionary Struggle in the Twentieth Century

Transforming Russia and China: Revolutionary Struggle in the Twentieth Century

Transforming Russia and China: Revolutionary Struggle in the Twentieth Century

Transforming Russia and China: Revolutionary Struggle in the Twentieth Century

Synopsis

In the best tradition of historical writing, this fascinating study concentrates on the distinguishing characteristics of the Russian and Chinese experiences of revolution during the same time period. Using quotations, anecdotes, and colorful descriptive material, the authors unravel thetangle of people, places, and events central to understanding the nature of revolutionary change.

Excerpt

When I look at myself and everything
I, Juan Without Anything only yesterday,
and now Juan With Everything
and today with everything,
I look around, I look,
I see myself and everything
and I ask myself how it happened.

Nicolás Guillén

This book grew directly out of our experience teaching a course comparing the Russian and Chinese revolutions to diverse groups of students, many of whom were themselves engaging in American political life in a manner and to a degree unwitnessed for almost three decades. The historical vacuum in which they seemed to be operating, the crude historical analogies they were given to drawing, disturbed us. The lack of adequate teaching materials was a constant problem. No single volume drew together, in a usable analytic narrative, the exceptional complexities of theory and practice represented by the two major revolutions of the twentieth century. None focused in humanistic terms on what it was like, for millions of people, to live through these extraordinary transformations. What we wanted for our students, what we needed to do for ourselves, was to write a history of both revolutions that would capture the intimate mean-

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