China 1949: Year of Revolution (Hardback)
  • China 1949: Year of Revolution (Hardback)
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China 1949: Year of Revolution (Hardback)

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Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 28/01/2021
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"Excellent." The Economist "A gripping account." South China Morning Post "Well worth reading." The Morning Star "A persuasive and readable narrative." History Today "Elegantly written." The Tablet "An excellent study." The Chartist "Engaging." Asia Times The events of 1949 in China reverberated across the world and throughout the rest of the century. That tumultuous year saw the dramatic collapse of Chiang Kai-shek's 'pro-Western' Nationalist government, overthrown by Mao Zedong and his communist armies, and the foundation of the People's Republic of China. China 1949 follows the huge military forces that tramped across the country, the exile of once-powerful leaders and the alarm of the foreign powers watching on. The well-known figures of the Revolution are all here. But so are lesser known military and political leaders along with a host of 'ordinary' Chinese citizens and foreigners caught in the maelstrom. They include the often neglected but crucial role played by the 'Guangxi faction' within Chiang's own regime, the fate of a country woman who fled her village carrying her baby to avoid the fighting, a prominent Shanghai business man and a schoolboy from Nanyang, ordered by his teachers to trek south with his classmates in search of safety. Shadowing both the leaders and the people of China in 1949, Hutchings reveals the lived experiences, aftermath and consequences of this pivotal year -- one in which careers were made and ruined, and popular hopes for a 'new China' contrasted with fears that it would change the country forever. The legacy of 1949 still resonates today as the founding myth, source of national identity and root of the political behaviour of modern China. Graham Hutchings has written a vivid, gripping account of the year in which China abruptly changed course, and pulled the rest of world history along with it.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9780755607334
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 672 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Adds to our understanding of the rise of Chairman Mao. * The Independent *
An excellent new book about the founding year of the People's Republic. * The Economist *
China 1949: Year of Revolution is a gripping account... the book answers in meticulous detail the big question: why did the Communists win?... an excellent record of one of the most important historical events of the 20th century. * South China Morning Post Magazine *
An excellent book, which confines its focus to the pivotal year which ended 30 years of chaos and civil conflict and opened a new chapter in China's history - and the world's. Well worth reading. * Morning Star *
A persuasive and readable narrative of that critical year, accurately emphasising the catastrophic shortcomings of the Nationalists and of Chiang Kai-shek that contributed to their defeat... China 1949 brings this critical year to life and is a good starting point for understanding how the People's Republic of China developed. * History Today *
Well researched and elegantly written. * The Tablet *
Provides an engaging day-by-day account of those momentous events ... For those wishing to pursue the subject in greater detail, this volume lays an excellent foundation. * Asia Times *
This is an excellent study and highly recommended. * The Chartist *
'A wonderful read for students and general readers why 1949 was a fateful and pivotal year that changed the fate of the most populous country in the world. It shows vividly that the Communist Party did not come to power riding on the tide of a great revolution that swept across China but it seized the mandate of Heaven as successive imperial dynasties had done in the past - by military conquest.' * Steve Tsang, Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the China Institute, SOAS University of London, UK [and author of A Modern History of Hong Kong] *
China 1949 is a compelling achievement. First, Hutchings gives a clear, balanced account of the titanic forces that brought to power one of the most important political movements of the 20th century, the Chinese Communist Party. But then, he gives the book a deeply humane and moving heart with accounts of the emotions and dilemmas felt both by those who supported the revolution and those who opposed it. This is history on the grand scale but with a brilliant, observant eye for the complexities that underpin this pivotal event. * Rana Mitter, Director of the University China Centre, University of Oxford, UK, and author of China's Good War: How World War II is Shaping a New Nationalism *
'The Chinese have recently celebrated the 70th anniversary of a revolution which changed the course of world history. Graham Hutchings reveals the extent of the Communist triumph in that epoch-making year, and the countervailing humiliation of the Nationalists. The book is well researched, tells a fascinating story with pace and elegance, and illuminates what is happening in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong today.' * Simon Scott Plummer, Feature Writer on East Asia for The Times, Diplomatic Correspondent and Chief Foreign Leader Writer for The Daily Telegraph, and frequent reviewer for Times Literary Supplement and The Tablet *
The victory of Chinese Communist forces over those of China's Nationalist Government in 1949 is one of the great climacterics of the twentieth century. Not only did it define China's subsequent political trajectory, but it also shaped the futures of Taiwan and Hong Kong. China 1949 provides a vivid picture of the final act in the long-drawn-out struggle for power in China. Drawing on a wide range of private papers, archival and Chinese-language sources, Graham Hutchings has achieved the difficult feat of producing a scholarly history that is also a real page turner. He has an unerring ear for the arresting phrase, and writes with elegance and elan. His pacy narrative, viewed through multiple prisms of a varied cast of protagonists ranging from political and military leaders to 'ordinary' individuals, is peppered with piquant detail that brings the unfolding events of 1949 vividly to life. * Bob Ash, Emeritus Professor, SOAS, University of London, UK *

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