Friday, March 9, 2007

Mao’s China and After: A History of the People's Republic by Maurice Meisner

Review by Trent Engbers - China 11

The second edition of Meisner’s original treaty, Mao’s China, gives an overview of the Maoist period beginning with Mao’s ascension to power after World War II and ending with the end of the Cultural Revolution. Possibly better than any other historical text, Meisner explores the Maoist period paying attention to the philosophy, history, and the political dynamics that shaped most of China’s 20th century. The second edition has the added benefit of hindsight and includes repercussion of the Maoist era for modern China. Published in 1986, the book is somewhat outdated, but still does and excellent, though somewhat dense, job of recapping China’s modern history. If I had to recommend one book on the Maoist period, it would be this one.