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Who will govern China at the dawn of the twenty-first century? What are the social backgrounds and career paths of the new generation of leaders? How do they differ from their predecessors in their responses to perplexing economic and sociopolitical challenges? Drawing upon a wealth of both quantitative and qualitative data on the so-called fourth generation of leaders--those who were young during the Cultural Revolution--Cheng Li sheds valuable light on these key questions. He shows that this group is more diversified than previous generations of CCP leaders in formative experiences, political solidarity, ideological conviction, and occupational background. The author explores the contradictions between political leaders and non-elite peers in the same generation--those approaching middle age who were barred from education during the Mao era and now often are unemployed and disenchanted with the government. The book concludes with the intriguing notion that this generation of leaders may have a better understanding of its peers' needs and concerns and therefore may make the regime more accountable to its people, thus contributing to, rather than opposing, democratic development.
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Cheng Li is research director and senior fellow at the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Li is also William R. Kenan Professor of Government at Hamilton College and director of the National Committee on US-China Relations.Review:
Li's book is a treasure for the biographical data it provides, and his knowledge of personalities throughout the Chinese state is extremely impressive. (International Affairs)
China's political process has always been mysterious, and the background of its political leaders has been largely secret. Cheng Li's book is an expert analysis of who these men really are and how the rising stars in Beijing are likely to govern in the coming years. I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand Chinese politics. (Seth Faison)
Carefully researched and documented. . . . Cheng Li's book goes a long way to providing information and in some cases correcting common misperceptions about these leaders. Its strong methodology and detailed data will appeal to academics, but it is also useful for China watchers in business and government. (The China Business Review)
A welcome addition to the literaure on Chinese politics and its new generation of leaders. . . . A compelling account. (Chinasource)
With a clear goal to pursue a conscious intellectual inquiry of the characteristics of new Chinese leaders from an objective prospective, Li analyzes the merits and weaknesses, life experiences, and political attitudes of this group of people who will soon assume top leadership positions in China. The author skillfully approaches some major indicators that not only distinguish the new leaders from previous generations of Communist Party leaders but also highlight the fundamental traits capturing all top personnel. This informative and solid book will be useful for the general public, undergraduate and graduate students, professionals, and policy makers. (Choice)
A first-rate piece of scholarship, impressive in its scope. Li has effectively combined quantitative and qualitative research in a way that provides a clear sense of the generational change currently underway in the Chinese leadership. Scholars, students, policymakers, and general readers will all find this a fascinating and important work. (Fewsmith, Joseph)
Cheng Li's book, the first full-length English study of the fourth generation, goes a long way toward resolving paradoxes. Li traces in fascinating detail the networks of education, marriage, and party and professional advancement that tie this group together. China's Leaders is more than just a gossip rag on the Chinese political elite. (International Journal)
Li's book has made a serious contribution in offering such data. This volume will certainly be a useful guide to for the examination of the new Chinese leadership to emerge in the sixteenth Party Congress in 2002, and the quality of Li's work has set the standard for future research in similar studies. (The Journal Of Politics)
The best source on the shape of the rising generation of the Chinese elite....An indispensable catalogue of elite characteristics and descriptive cases of the career paths of leading political figures....Every political scientist working on the Chinese elite will want to have a well-thumbed copy on their bookshelves. (Jeremy Paltiel The China Journal)
A gem....One can get a real sense of China's third-and fourth-generation leaders by reading this wonderful study by Cheng Li.... His skill as an interviewer is apparent in the wealth of information provided to the reader.....This is a study that will enlighten the seasoned sinologist and yet has use in an undergraduate course on Chinese politics as well. (China Review International)
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Book Description Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2001. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0847694976
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