CHINA IN THE YEAR 2001 by Hen Suyin


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The title is misconceived: no long-range predictions here. The author is neither visionary nor Dragon Lady; she speaks from fifty years' contact with China, including eleven recent visits, and speaks as a spokesman-interpreter. Despite her silly introductory remarks that she isn't a Marxist and feels that Western standards of measurement and deductive logic may not apply, she gives a roughly Marxist, very intelligible account of recent history, celebrating the colossal gains made in only seventeen years (aquite ""Western"" standard). She discusses structural and ideological features, from decentralization to the Cultural Revolution, of which she gives multiple explanations, reminding American readers that a revolution won and a nationalized economy are only the first steps in building socialism. Her exposition of Mao Tse-Tung's thought puts its development in relation to historical change, with emphasis on Mao's rejection of Stalinism and reaction to Soviet embourgeoisement. In foreign policy, she argues, the Chinese are both sterling revolutionaries and models of prudence... and they anticipate a U.S. attack. Much of the book is an aggressively, impressively handled rendition of the Peking line; even the most sympathetic will Judge the book imperfect, while the most skeptical will find it exciting.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1967
Publisher: Basic Books