- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (2 Jun. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141038853
- ISBN-13: 978-0141038858
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 503,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers Paperback – 2 Jun 2011
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(Sunday Times )
Masterful ... entertaining and insightful (Economist )
Superb ... an essential, riveting guide to how the rising power really works (Jonathan Fenby )
If you read only one book about China this year, it should be this one. And if you do not read this book, you probably do not understand China today (Arthur Kroeber China Economic Quarterly )
A compelling exploration of the world's largest and most successful political machine (New Statesman )
A book that is as informative as it is entertaining ... China has been transformed. The system that takes the credit is brilliantly described by McGregor (Chris Patten Financial Times )
McGregor is one of the best foreign journalists who have reported from China. The Party draws on two decades of superb reporting ... A fine contribution for those who want to know about the rising power they will face in the decades ahead (Ezra Vogel, Professor Emeritus, Harvard University )
Few outsiders have any realistic sense of the innards, motives, rivalries, and fears of the Chinese Communist leadership. But we all know much more than before, thanks to Richard McGregor's illuminating and richly-textured look at the people in charge of China's political machinery ... invaluable for anyone trying to make sense of China's future plans and choices (James Fallows, National Correspondent For The Atlantic )
Fascinating and ambitious ... Richard McGregor lays bare the secretive machinery of the party (Gady Epstein Forbes )
McGregor has done the world a service with his fascinating new book (Peter Hartcher Sydney Morning Herald )
A fascinating read ... in an age when Chinese economic influence is reaching new levels, it is an invaluable exercise in understanding the operation of the most powerful political party in the world (Ian Kehoe Sunday Business Post )
A vivid narrative, sprinkled with humour and insight ... amazing characters ... an engrossing read (South China Morning Post )
Gripping ... McGregor brings to life the characters behind the icons of Chinese power and wealth, the figures that built the Shanghai skyline and rebuilt Beijing for the Olympics. More importantly, he gives us a feel for the dynamics behind China's rise (Irish Times )
A lively and penetrating account of a party that ... has clung to secrecy as an inviolable principle (Andrew Higgins Washington Post )
Eminently readable ... McGregor has done a great service to those who would hope to better understand where China's power lies (China Economic Review )
An illuminating glimpse behind the red curtain ... McGregor's lucid dissection shows how top-ranked party members - indeed the party itself - sit outside the law (Metro )
About the Author
Richard McGregor is the China bureau chief for the Financial Times. Since 1990, he has spent all but two years in north Asia, starting in Taiwan, and then in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Beijing, where he established offices for The Australian newspaper. He joined the FT in 2000 in Shanghai and was appointed China bureau chief in 2005. He has also contributed articles and reports to the BBC, the International Herald Tribune and the Far Eastern Economic Review.
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Top Customer Reviews
McGregor's strength as an author is that "The Party" is not only informative, but also immensely readable. It is enlivened with anecdotes of particular case studies, cadres who have risen and fallen from grace, entrepreneurs who have carved out business empires only to fall foul of the authorities, and Party officials who have made fortunes from bribes, only to be executed as scape-goats for the Party's overall corruption. He reveals the sheer extent and pervasiveness of the Party's grip on China as no other book has yet done. And suddenly, so much of what emerges from China as distinctly alien politics makes perfect sense. The Party has the same hierarchical structure and power as the medieval Church of Rome. Indeed, the sale of Party official posts and favours resembles nothing so much as the sale of indulgences in pre-Reformation Europe. Simony, the buying or selling of ecclesiastical pardons, offices, or emoluments, is exactly paralleled by the sale of similar, secular perks in China by the CCP.
A few quotations will give the spirit of the book, and a quick insight into the flavour of 21st. century Communism, Chinese-style.
"The Party is like God. He is everywhere. You just can't see him." [a professor at People's University in Beijing].
"Listen, we are the Communist Party and we will define what communism is.Read more ›
My reaction to the book was that a lot of what Is being described is Economic Nationalism – take an example of France – where the government directs a lot of what industrial leaders do, and industrial leaders cycle in and out of government departments. As I finished the book, it seemed to me that the lack of effective, independent power structures within the society and the regularity and possibility of changing the party in government is what distinguishes Chinese society from Western ones. A fairly obvious point, but reinforced, in detail, by this excellent book.
In eight clearly defined chapters, McGregor considers 'The Party and the State', 'The Party and Business', 'The Party and Personnel', 'The Party and the Gun', 'The Party and Corruption', 'The Party and the Regions', 'The Party and Capitalism' and 'The Party and History'. What comes across is a picture of a ruling central organisation that is ubiquitous, fragile, subtle and, at the same time, hugely adaptable. The Party is not synonymous with the government, nor the state. 'The Party', as the quote at the beginning of Chapter 1 says 'is like God. He is everywhere. You just can't see him'. It has survived horrendous famines, the Cultural Revolution, Tienanmen Square and, so far, many of the vicissitudes assailing Western economies. How it has managed this, and how it may continue to do so for some time to come, is laid out in each chapter as Mr McGregor takes a core element of Chinese society and investigates it's relationship to the Party, using an illuminating mixture of history, example and anecdote.
Many western investors in Chinese businesses assume that China is, in some sense, becoming a capitalist society, but this is to completely miss the intimate relationship between the Party and all levels of the economy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I feel misguided by the title of the book. Even though the writer has deep knowled about the subject, the book was limitied to spontanious events and basics of chinese economic... Read morePublished 6 months ago by firat
Enjoyed reading this. A definite insight into China and how the communist party are able to control the country through neo-capitalist economic policy which goes against the... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Neil
A really well written book with insights other authors don't have. McGregor's decade as a journalist in China, through the global financial crisis, gave him a unique look at the... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Daniel C.
Journalistic and perhaps a little laboured in places but the clearest I've read yet on the current role of the party in China - would rate as essential reading for anyone seeking... Read morePublished on 12 Oct. 2014 by Dr G.
interesting read shows how China could surpass US as the prominent powerPublished on 30 July 2014 by Mark Tomlinson
A good book if you want to learn about how the China rulers work. I was surprised how much power they have over the people.Published on 20 July 2014 by Kevin Amatt
I expected to enjoy this book, but found it quite heavy going. Not the author's fault, but I'll make sure I stick to light, frothy fiction in future.Published on 28 Jun. 2013 by London Lass
I found this book excellent for understanding how the party works in China. I never really understood quite how the party creates a shadow system and how little control Beijing... Read morePublished on 16 Jun. 2013 by Oliver E. K. Wells
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