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The Origins of Chinese Communism - Arif Dirlik

The Origins of Chinese Communism

Paperback Published: 19th January 1989
ISBN: 9780195054545
Number Of Pages: 336

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Based on a wealth of archival material released after Mao's death, this book offers a revisionist account of the introduction and triumph of Marxism in China. Dirlik shows that, in 1919, at the outset of the May Fourth Movement, anarchism was the predominant ideology among revolutionaries and intellectuals and Marxism was virtually unknown. Three years later, however, the Communist Party of China had emerged as the unchallenged leader of the Left. Dirlik disputes long-held beliefs about the domestic origins of Chinese Communism to argue that Communist thought and organization were brought into radical circles by the Comintern. Though Chinese radicals would not have turned to Communism unassisted, he concludes, Marxist ideology took hold easily when introduced from the outside. This book will prove indispensable to scholars of Chinese history and politics, Asian studies, Marxism, and comparative communism.

"Revise[s] the commonly held view that it was the growing impact of the Russian revolution of 1917 which was decisive in the creation of the Chinese Communist Party."---Political Studies "A most detailed and well-documented exegesis of socialism....Contains a wealth of material not included in other studies....Invaluable as a reference on the founding of the Communist Party of China."--The Annals of the American Academy "A solidly grounded study of a shifting political discourse."--Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars "A sophisticated study....Finely textured and filled with insights."--American Historical Review "Looks like it serves a great need--to help students understand how and why Chinese intellectuals responded to the Russian revolution! It also helps to demystify the whole process of turning revolutionary thought into revolutionary action."--Roland L. Higgins, Keene State College "Excellent, ground-breaking analytical study."--Linda Walton, Portland State University "This book clarifies that turbulent period in modern China's history right after World War I....It presents detailed information about the radical network that developed in China between 1918and 1920...[and] emphasizes the important role played by Comintern representatives."--Anthony Garavente, California State University, Long Beach "A lucid account of the various intellectual threads that constituted the origins of Communism in China. Dirlik shows the interplay of various Western ideologies, especially anarchism, in the formation of Chinese Communism. He gives students a very good idea of the intellectual ferment that was the May Fourth movement."--Lewis Bernstein, Brigham Young University "Tightly argued, conscientiously documented. Revisionist approach--deemphasizing the example of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution."--Lea E. Williams, Brown University "Fascinating book! You should submit it for a book prize in East Asian history."--Anna M. Cienciala, University of Kansas "Dirlik writes very interesting history. He uses the May 4th Movement as a commentary thread throughout the book--and convincingly. His notes are helpful as is the bibliography. My students will find this book challenging but pleasurable as well."--S. Carol Berg, College of St. Benedict "An impressive work, combining scholarship with politics, Origins of Chinese Communism has moved the historiography of Chinese Communism to a higher plateau than the works of the previous generation of China scholars."--Donald M. Lowe, San Francisco State University "This well-researched and well-written book places the political polarities of China in the 1920s and beyond in excellent context of intellectual and political history."--Suzanne W. Barnett, University of Puget Sound Advance praise: "By far the most detailed, sophisticated, and comprehensive treatment of the origins of the Communist Party of China yet written. It is likely to be the standard work on the origins of the CCP for years to come. It is a gold mine of information and insights. In particular, it provides a very sophisticated analysis of the competing socialist doctrines, especially anarchism, in China at this time; and presents a perceptive account of the influence of the Russian Revolution on Chinese intellectuals."--Maurice Meisner, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Prefacep. vii
Perspectives and Perceptions: May Fourth Socialism and the Origins of Communism in Chinap. 3
Chinese Radicals and the October Revolution in Russiap. 17
A Revolution Perceived: the October Revolution through Chinese Eyesp. 23
The October Revolution and Marxism in China: the Case of Li Dazhaop. 43
From Enlightenment to Socialism. Radical Intellectuals, Labor, and Social Radicalism in May Fourth Thoughtp. 55
Social Consciousness and Socialism: Class, Society, and Social Revolution in May Fourth Thoughtp. 60
Radical Culture and Social Activism: Anarchism in May Fourth Radicalismp. 74
The Language of Class: Marxism in May Fourth Socialismp. 95
Corporatist Resolutions: Class Politics without Class Strugglep. 121
From Study Society to Political Cell: Ideology and Orgarnization in the Origins of Chinese Communismp. 147
May Fourth Radicalism at a Crossroads: Study Societies, Communes, and the Search for Social Revolutionp. 156
The Comintern and the Organization of Communism in Chinap. 191
The Parting of the Ways: the Ideological Emergence of Communismp. 217
Paths to the Future: Communist Organization and Marxist Ideologyp. 253
Notesp. 275
Bibliographyp. 299
Indexp. 307
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195054545
ISBN-10: 0195054547
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 19th January 1989
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.42 x 15.49  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.48