China's Revolution and the Quest for a Socialist Future
Between the end of the Opium War in the 1842 and the establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949 China, long the most prosperous and sophisticated country in the world, was subjected to the military, economic, and political domination of Western imperialism. The old dynastic system was overthrown in 1911, and in 1921 the Communist Party was formed, which led the revolutionary struggle over the next three decades. Since the founding of the PRC China has pursued its distinctive path of socialist construction, a challenging and often contentious process which is still unfolding today. This volume traces the crisis of Old China and the course of the revolutionary struggle up to 1949, and follows the development of New China through the era of Mao Zedong’s leadership, the launching of reform under Deng Xiaoping, and the beginning of a new era under the leadership of Xi Jinping. China’s use of market mechanisms to develop the productive economy has generated contradictions as well as dramatic growth, and China has achieved great things in education, health care, and the provision of other social services. But the process of socialist construction remains an unfinished and ongoing venture, and the future of the revolution is very much a work in progress.