The Deng Xiaoping Era: An Inquiry Into the Fate of Chinese Socialism, 1978-1994
A bold new history of the Deng years by a leading China scholar
Unlike the former Soviet Union and the once "socialist" countries of Eastern Europe, China's current economy is now the world's second largest and most rapidly growing. Remarkably, today's problems in China are spiritual in nature-"a crisis of faith"-stemming from the clash between capitalist realities and lingering socialist values and ideas.
The Deng Xiaoping Era is the story of that crisis and of Deng Xiaoping's promise of socialist democracy that has degenerated into bureaucratic capitalism. Maurice Meisner shows how the social contract between the Chinese Communist Party and the people was grossly violated by the Deng regime, and why capitalism has emerged as the dynamic force in today's socioeconomic and cultural life. Now, after more than a decade of capitalist reforms, he argues that Chinese spiritual malaise is deepening with the brutal suppression of the 1989 Democracy Movement and its politically repressive aftermath.
This is an indispensable study of contemporary Chinese history-from the Chinese Revolution and the founding of the Maoist state to the establishment of the Deng regime and the social consequences of Deng's reforms-as well as a formidable analysis of the failure of the world's greatest socialist experiment.
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