The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin

Front Cover
Crown Publishing Group, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 709 pages
3 Reviews
Jiang Zemin’s life and leadership sweep through almost eighty tumultuous years of Chinese history: Japanese occupation, Civil War, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen Square, and, more recently, dramatic economic growth, tensions with Taiwan, and opportunities and confrontations with America. Jiang’s story is an epic of war, deprivation, revolution, political turmoil, social convulsion, economic reform, national transformation, and international resurgence. To Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a longtime China observer, understanding the legacy of Jiang Zemin is essential for understanding the challenges of contemporary China. By examining Jiang’s life, we observe the clash between China’s traditional culture and chaotic history, and we appreciate how its changes impact the entire world.

In The Man Who Changed China, Kuhn, who was cited by the Asian Wall Street Journal for the “unprecedented access” he was given in the course of writing this book, has produced what the Journal called “probably the closest thing to an authorized biography that’s possible in Communist China.” Here a reader will find a complex and nuanced portrait of China’s senior leader, whose policies continue to exert great influence over the course of his country. Kuhn offers insight into how the Japanese occupation during Jiang’s teenage years imprinted his psyche for life, how he became a Communist, and how, decades later, he struggled to transform the Party in the face of withering criticism.

In a sense, Kuhn argues, Jiang’s early skeptics got it right: He was a transitional figure—but not in the way they had meant. With unshakable if paternalistic vision, a lifelong love of Chinese civilization, and backroom political skills that no one had anticipated, Jiang Zemin became an unexpected agent of change, effecting the transition from a traumatized society to a confident, prosperous country rapidly ascending in the new world order. Kuhn shows how Jiang led China through an amazing metamorphosis—from a fretful country destabilized by the turmoil and crackdown in Tiananmen Square into a vibrant nation that became a primary engine of global economic growth. Above all Jiang is a Chinese patriot—and it is important to appreciate what that really means. In offering this unusually intimate and comprehensive personal and political biography, Kuhn demonstrates that Jiang Zemin’s life personifies the history of contemporary China, giving invaluable insight into what China is today and will become in the future.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin

User Review  - Rochmad Setyadi - Goodreads

It's a propaganda book but thick and rich :p Read full review

Contents

My Background Is My Family
17
I Am a Patriot
35
I Am an Engineer
53
Copyright

24 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2004)

Robert Lawrence Kuhn, who hosts the PBS series Closer to Truth, advises China on economic policy, mergers and acquisitions, science, and media and is vice chairman of the new Beijing Institute for Frontier Science. The author of numerous books, including The Library of Investment Banking, Dealmaker, and Made in China: Voices from the New Revolution, he holds a Ph.D. in anatomy (brain research) from UCLA and an M.S. in management from MIT. He is a managing director at Smith Barney/Citigroup.

Bibliographic information