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China’s Twentieth Century: Revolution, Retreat and the Road to Equality

An examination of the shifts in politics and revolution in China over the last century
What must China do to become truly democratic and equitable? This question animates most progressive debates about this potential superpower, and in China’s Twentieth Century the country’s leading critic, Wang Hui, turns to the past for an answer. Beginning with the birth of modern politics in the 1911 revolution, Wang tracks the initial flourishing of political life, its blossoming in the radical sixties, and its decline in China’s more recent liberalization, to arrive at the crossroads of the present day. Examining the emergence of new class divisions between ethnic groups in the context of Tibet and Xinjiang, alongside the resurgence of neoliberalism through the lens of the Chongqing Incident, Wang Hui argues for a revival of social democracy as the only just path for China’s future.

Reviews

  • “One of China’s leading historians and most interesting and influential public intellectuals.”
  • “A central figure among a group of writers and academics known collectively as the New Left.”
  • “Mobilizing lessons from a non-Western context to unpack the contested meanings of socialism and democracy… Wang reminds us that China’s socialist legacy, much like its long-standing participation in anti-imperialist struggles in the Global South, is not to be forgotten. Instead, it should be rigorously analyzed and critically re-appropriated as a means to reshape the contours of global justice.”

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  • Verso's History Bookshelf




    A round-up of some of our history reading, from new to old.

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  • Ebook Highlights from Verso’s Archive from $1/£1


    *** THE SALE IS NOW OVER - THANKS FOR ORDERING! ***

    We’ve come to realize that our 90% off ebook sale has placed our readers in a dual crisis of both shortening time and expanding options, leaving many paralyzed or uncertain on how to navigate this vast terrain of radical ebooks. The task is certainly daunting. With a diverse list of authors ranging from Rosa Luxemburg, Ellen Meiksins Wood, Fredric Jameson, David Harvey, and Benedict Anderson to Patrick Cockburn, Liza Featherstone, John Berger, and Richard Seymour, choosing the right bundle can be a challenge. 

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  • From Illusion to Empire: Chuang on The Creation of the Chinese Economy

    Chuang is a collective of communists who consider the “China question” to be of central relevance to the contradictions of the world’s economic system and the potentials for its overcoming. Our goal is to formulate a body of clear-headed theory capable of understanding contemporary China and its potential trajectories. In this first issue, we outline our basic conceptual framework and illustrate the current state of class conflict in China. We also include translated reports and interviews with the proletarians engaged in these struggles, pairing our theory with primary sources drawn from class dynamics that might otherwise remain abstract.

    The selection below comes from our centerpiece article on the socialist era, “Sorghum and Steel: The Socialist Developmental Regime and the Forging of China,” the first in a three part economic history of China. The full first issue including this article will be released in print and online in a few months. To read more, including a sample article from the issue, visit our website.

    Chuang Issue 1 is now available to purchase from AK distro, here.

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Other books by Wang Hui Edited by Saul Thomas

Other books of interest