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The Communist Party of China: Past, Present, and Future of Party Building

The Communist Party of China: Past, Present, and Future of Party Building

Retail Price: £10.00/$15
ISBN: 978-1-910760-09-3
Size: 156mm (W) x 234mm (H)
Softcover, 168 pages

Imagine what it’s like to effectively organize and develop a political party with over 65 million (65m) members – that’s bigger than the total populations of many of the world’s most developed countries such as the UK (65m), France (64m), Italy (59m), South Korea (50m), Spain (46m), Canada (36m) and Australia (24m).

If the Communist Party of China (CPC) was a country, its population would rank as the 21st biggest in the world. Then imagine that, in addition to developing and organizing its 65m party members, it had to embed them among a population of 1.38bn people so that the party could lead and guide the world’s biggest population to develop from economic backwardness after years of war and destruction to become the 2nd largest economy in the world within nine decades.

Now, imagine what it takes to achieve that in terms of structure and organisation and you have a good grasp of the scale of the CPC’s achievement from its founding with just 50 or 60 members in 1921 until 2015 with some 65m members.

The CPC: A History of Party Building, 1921-2015 gives a blow-by-blow and chapter-by-chapter account of how the CPC got from where it was in 1921 shortly after the founding of the party to where it is now.

The CPC had to repeatedly reinvent itself to cope with three totally different periods during its history. The first period was from 1921 to 1949 when it founded the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and the CPC had to invent itself, fight against Japanese invasion before and during World War Two, and fight a civil war against the Kuomintang (KMT) party and associated local warlords which it eventually won, enabling it to seize power and govern the country.

The second period was from 1949 until the late 1970s, when the party had to morph from a fighting force into a governing force to rebuild the country after decades of war and establish a healthy economy. The authors candidly acknowledge the mistakes the party made and learnt from along the way including the disastrous ‘Great Leap Forward’ and ‘Cultural Revolution’.

The third period was from 1978 until the present day when the CPC kicked off radical economic reforms which led over several decades to China becoming the world’s second largest economy and lifting some 400m people out of poverty.

Every aspect of the party’s ideology, structure and organization is explained in minute detail in The CPC: A History of Party Building, 1921-2015: from its guiding ideology of communism, Marxism and Mao Zedong Thought through the development of building socialism with Chinese characteristics; how the CPC interacts with other parties both domestically and internationally; how it achieves effective organization and discipline; how it interacts with other parties and non-party people to govern the world’s most populous country; what it does to control and combat corruption; how it mobilizes people from all walks of life within and outside the party to fulfill their potential and to optimize national development; and how the party asserts control over the military and harnesses the military’s power in support of national political and economic development.

Each of the book’s 10 chapters focuses on one key aspect of the party’s role, explains it, analyzes it and then poses questions for further study and provides a bibliography to assist wider reading around the subject. This makes the book of particular interest to students and party or government officials from other developing or developed countries who want to learn from the CPC’s experience in party and nation building, in addition to general readers who just want to have a better understanding of how the CPC led China from being a poor, backward country to the reasonably affluent superpower it is today.

The English edition of The CPC: A History of Party Building, 1921-2015 is published by ACA Publishing Ltd in association with People’s Publishing House, the publisher of the Chinese edition.

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