Three lectures, part of the 1961 annual Orren Scott series at Washington University (St Louis), have been revised to form this panoramic, if brief and superficial, picture of Red China and her position vis-a-vis the Nationalists, the Russians, and the world. The historically xenophobic outlook of China's people through centuries of dynastic cycles, and her perpetually pandemic economic insecurity, heightened her susceptibility to the effects of modern political upheavals. The traditional pattern of paternal authoritarianism among her largely peasant society, far from hampering the transition to Communism, permits the present regime to seem more nearly normal to the Chinese than their own local versions do to any other totalitarian subjects except the Russians themselves. Barnett believes that the Mao government will be able to ride out the economic crises presently upsetting its plans, and -- by squeezing the peasants -- acquire the industrial power to build China into a strong, modern world state. Her top leaders have sustained a practical working unity ""unparalleled by that of any other Communist Party in the world"", and chiefly for this reason Barnett predicts no swift end to statism in China.