- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (July 31, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061708763
- ISBN-13: 978-0061708763
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 121 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers Paperback – July 31, 2012
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“A masterful depiction of the party today. . . . McGregor illuminates the most important of the contradictions and paradoxes. . . . An entertaining and insightful portrait of China’s secretive rulers.” (The Economist)
“A fascinating and ambitious book. . . . Revealing. . . . McGregor lays bare the secretive machinery of the party, how it operates far more pervasively in public life and commerce than many suspect.” (Forbes)
“McGregor does a persuasive job of sketching how communist the country really still is. . . . Anyone who wants to understand more about China would be well advised to pick up McGregor’s book. (Newsweek)
“As informative as it is entertaining. . . . China has been transformed. There is no denying it. The system that takes the credit is brilliantly described by McGregor.” (The Financial Times)
“Astute. . . . A sober, realistic book. . . . A readable guide to how China is governed.” (Bloomberg)
“Richard McGregor has penned a detailed look at the Chinese Communist Party that is must reading for U.S. officials and China affairs specialists who profess to be perplexed at why the regime in Beijing consistently operates like a Soviet-style communist dictatorship and not a Western-style democracy.” (The Washington Times)
“Fascinating. . . . The Party examines the intricate relationship between the Communist Party and the Chinese government, exposing how a political machine subverts the will to properly govern a billion people.” (Esquire)
“The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers is a careful, highly well-informed and entertaining account of China’s ruling class, chronicling the country’s 30-year rise to major economic power despite high levels of poverty.” (The Associated Press)
“A compelling exploration of the world’s largest and most successful political machine.” (Isabel Hilton, New Statesman)
“Superb in its depiction and demystification of the most important force at work in China today. Essential , riveting guide to how the rising power really works.” (Jonathan Fenby, author of The Penguin History of Modern China)
From the Back Cover
In this provocative and illuminating account, Richard McGregor offers a captivating portrait of China’s Communist Party, its grip on power and control over China, and its future.
China’s political and economic growth in the past three decades has been one of astonishing, epochal dimensions. The most remarkable part of this transformation, however, has been left largely untold—the central role of the Chinese Communist Party. In The Party, Richard McGregor delves deeply into China’s inner sanctum for the first time, showing how the Communist Party controls the government, courts, media, and military and keeps all corruption accusations against its members in-house. The Party’s decisions have a global impact, yet the CCP remains a deeply secretive body, hostile to the law and unaccountable to anyone or anything other than its own internal tribunals. It is the world’s only geopolitical rival of the United States, and is primed to think the worst of the West.
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Once one accepts that idea, then many of the actions of the CCP become understandable. Take for instance Xi's drive to weed out corruption. Since taking power, Xi has been issuing statement that it is important for the survival of the party to weed out all corruption. But then a few weeks ago, 2 activists who were calling for the declaration by party members of the assets they own to be made public, arguing this is one way of preventing corruption in high places. But to the dismay of many, these two were arrested. Surely, if Xi was sincere in trying to weed out corruption, those two activists should not be arrested. However, having read the book, their arrests were fully understandable.
First, note that Xi's reason for his weeding out corruption was that if corruption was to continue on its grand scale, that would undermine the survival of the party. He is doing it not out of any sense of justice or morality, it's out of necessity for the survival of the party.
Second, if he takes heed of the activists call for transparency of asset holdings by party members, that would probably show to the Chinese people that everyone in the party, and possibly even he himself or his family, are corrupt! That would undermine the survival of the party.
By arresting the two activists, and keeping the mechanism for the weeding out of corruption within the party itself, that would both assuage the anger of the people regarding corruption as well as allowing those untouched by any scandal to continue their robber baron method of getting rich, at the same time ensuring the survival of the party. The party HAS to survive in order to allow them to continue to make money.
In so far as the people must be kept docile in order to let the party survive, the people would be allowed economic freedom, particularly when economic freedom can let the people make money, which the Party can then parasitize upon.
Even though the central leadership, standing committee memberships and politburo has changed (as of 2012), this is still highly relevant to many of the themes that the Party continues to struggle with and confront. This includes the growing middle class and income disparity, State-Owned versus Private Corporation governance, environmental issues, the major anti-corruption campaign underway. And this books helps understand why these dominate the party, and why the party behaves the way it does. And the author does this in a very effective manner - well organized, well researched, and well sourced. The chapters on the Shanghai Gang are also very informative as it allows the reader to understand the massive struggle Xi Jinping must of had (continues to have) in installing his key officials into key posts that will help him with his policy agenda.
Highly recommend this for anyone doing business in China (or with Chinese companies), travelling or planning to live in China as this book provides a very well-rounded view of the key decision making body that is present throughout all aspects of life in this interesting country.