CHINA'S UNINTERRUPTED REVOLUTION: From 1840 to the Present by James & Victor Nee--Eds. Peck

CHINA'S UNINTERRUPTED REVOLUTION: From 1840 to the Present

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Four essays on Maoist China and its intellectual precursors. Pack's article, ""Revolution versus Modernization and Revisionism,"" denounces Western imperialist notions of ""modernization"" characterized by hostility to ""collectivism"" and ""politicized culture."" He also counterposes Maoist ""uninterrupted revolution"" to the Bolshevik view of ""permanent revolution,"" which denied that the peasantry alone could sustain development toward socialism. Peck includes some amusing examples of the Maoist approach (""In history it is always those with little learning who overthrow those with much learning,"" says the Chairman inaccurately). The lengthy essay also includes extensive excerpts from Soviet criticisms of Maoist policy, its ""artificial egalitarianism and barracks-room social system"" plus its ""cultivation of exhausting manual work"" which inhibits individual creativity. The Chinese, complain the Soviets, do not ""raise the peasant to the level of the intellectual"" but vice versa. Despite such citations, Peck concludes that neither the Russians nor the Americans ""see any value in growing mass consciousness."" An article by Kung Chungwu provides solid material on Mao's fundamental continuity, not only with Confucianism and its ""subjective"" emphasis, but with Western pragmatism. Kung contends that the continuity of this ethical tradition is part of Mao's ""great contribution to Marxism."" Victor Nee's description of the Cultural Revolution in the industrial center of Shanghai and Carl Riskin's study of work incentives also present useful data, providing a basis for explaining the intense 1975 speedup of Chinese workers. The book exhibits a wide range of approaches, from candid praise of Mao as the last of the peasant emperors to insistence on his prowess in Marxist dialectics. An invaluable reference, the latest in the Pantheon Asia Library.

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 1975
Publisher: Pantheon