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This book answers -- from one point of view- many of the questions we are asking about China today. Anna Louise Strong is unequivocally on the side of the Communists, but wholly convinced that- perhaps alone -- the Chinese Reds are not Moscow bossed. And she analyzes- step by step- the historical factors, the social, economic, political, and most of all the human factors that persuade her to this belief. She acknowledges that the long frontier in common with the USSR makes for common interests in peace and prosperity. If the choice of friendship has to be made between the USSR and the Western World, the Western world will lose the toss. But she does not feel that choice is necessary; Mao Tze-tung thinks no foreign ally is needed, no source of policy or orders will be sanctioned, today or tomorrow. So much for the conclusions. Now for the supporting evidence, which in the overall gives the reader a heartening picture of the new China. The leader of the Chinese Communists, Mao, has the confidence of the people and the qualities of leadership. His victories are based on careful study of the sources of political power, and while some of the thinking follows the Russian methods, the conditions are different, the results different. Mao's books, New Democracy which is the turning point of China's revolutionary thinking, and The Chinese Revolution and the Communist Party of China which details the immediate aims and the long range plans, sustain this view. Miss Strong sketches the historical development, the Japanese war- at the end of which Chiang's role had become virtually that of an inland war lord. She discusses the attempts made by America to arrive at cooperation- and Chiang's betrayals. She surveys the political strategy, the working together of the young intellectuals -- the peasants- the industrial workers; she feels that the two biggest achievements of the last twelve years of struggle are the form of democratic government arrived at and the development of production against terrific odds. The focal problem of taxes and how it is being met is one of the revealing bits, while the rest of the economic policy and its very individual character makes one of the most important aspects of the book. China -- behind the advancing forces of liberation- and she makes you feel that is what it is -- is building a new society, a people's China. The anomaly of peaceful occupation, such as much of it has proved to be, bears witness that Chiang's government is not acceptable to the people. And that our interests lie- politically, economically, humanly, on the side of the people. We have lost ground immeasureably in reenforcing, in vain, the forces of reaction and tyranny. We have given the USSR an inside track (which they do not seem to be using, however). But we have some reservoir of goodwill and the chance still lies in our hands. The future of China is the Chinese peoples. All the evidence marshalled here bears witness. Bias in favor of the Chinese Communists may make some discounting of achievements and goals necessary, but the evidence is strong. And the book is challenging reading. An important contribution to our knowledge of the Far East.

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1949
Publisher: Doubleday