Though he has remained (perhaps purposefully) in the shadow of Mao, suave diplomat and astute accommodator Chou En-Lai may...

READ REVIEW

CHOU EN-LAI

Though he has remained (perhaps purposefully) in the shadow of Mao, suave diplomat and astute accommodator Chou En-Lai may be considered equally responsible for the success of the Chinese revolution, and -- in his urbanity and modesty -- is certainly an easier personality for westerners to understand. In advance of the promised bibliography, it's impossible to pin down the sources of the occasional direct quotes and anecdotes related here (though some, like the story of humorless Lin Piao being ordered to take dancing lessons, are as familiar as they are funny). For the most part, however, Chou's biography provides the occasion for a review of his role in guiding the tactics and propaganda aspects of the Chinese Communists' uneasy alliance with Stalin and struggle against the Kuomintang, and of Chou's unevenly successful postwar foreign policy -- including his courting of African leaders who alternately embraced his third world vision and grew nervous over the application of the doctrine of perpetual revolution to their own regimes. Having survived the cultural revolution and shepherded China into the United Nations, Chou's power is greater and more visible than ever. Anyone with a basic familiarity with the events of the Chinese revolution (the Long March and other major highlights are recounted here, but in a more condensed version than in, say, Archer's Mao Tse-Tung)will find this brisk journalistic introduction an easy way to glimpse the practical politics often obscured by the cult of personality.

Pub Date: March 1, 1973

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Hawthorn

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1973