THE CHINESE RED ARMY: Campaigns and Politics Since 1949 by Gerard H. Corr

THE CHINESE RED ARMY: Campaigns and Politics Since 1949

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A dull, insubstantial and unduly speculative account of China's armed involvement in Tibet, Korea and the Indian and Soviet borders, as well as the role of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Chinese politics. In Corr's view the PLA exists to recover territory China believes to be hers by right -- a nationalist, not Communist, motivation. His explanation of the PLA's origins is weak and sometimes wrong (Chou En-lai did not organize the 1926 Shanghai strike, but invited Chiang's troops in!). Little material is provided about army organization during the anti-Japanese conflict and the Civil War. Corr shows how the Chinese learned in Korea that militancy could not match U.S. firepower and air mastery; how Tibet required a quarter of a million occupation troops; and how Indian aggression was adroitly repelled in 1962. But the book's account of the Soviet-Chinese border tangles does nothing to clarify the flare-ups. Nor does Corr seriously consider the internal factional life of the PLA or its political sway in the country -- except to mention the army's well-known intervention during the Red Guard period and to speculate about Lin Piao's death. Neither a military history, nor an intelligence report, nor a political-sociological analysis of the PLA.

Pub Date: Nov. 18th, 1974
Publisher: Schocken