China: An Introduction

China: An Introduction

China: An Introduction

China: An Introduction

Excerpt

Now is an appropriate time for a revised edition of China: An Introduction. The Mao Zedong era has ended, leaving a lasting mark on Chinese society; the struggle for succession between Deng Xiaoping and Hua Guofeng has been resolved in a victory for the former; and a phase of experimentation with modernization policies has gone on long enough for observers to arrive at preliminary judgments. The first edition of this book was written in the wake of the Cultural Revolution and completed at the time of President Richard Nixon's first visit to China; the second edition included revisions up to the death of Mao Zedong; and now in this third edition we have the added story of the ways in which Deng Xiaoping and his associates have changed China.

The need for revision is proof that China is a dynamic and restlessly changing society. Yet the more the changes, the greater the need for perspective. Hence the historical approach, adopted in the first edition, remains unchanged.

Those who wish to understand the current scene in China need, in addition to the information about present policies and practices, a dual historical perspective: first, that provided by an appreciation of the Confucian order of traditional China, and second, that offered by some knowledge of the roots of the Maoist revolutionary era, against which so many of Deng's policies are either calculated or reflex reactions.

The third edition is published at a time when tourism in China has become fashionable, and consequently more and more Americans are able to gain first-hand introduction to China. At the same . . .

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