Zhou Enlai: The Last Perfect Revolutionary

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9781586484156: Zhou Enlai: The Last Perfect Revolutionary

Zhou Enlai, the premier of the People's Republic of China from 1949 until his death in 1976, is the last Communist political leader to be revered by the Chinese people. He is considered "a modern saint" who offered protection to his people during the Cultural Revolution; an admirable figure in an otherwise traumatic and bloody era. Works about Zhou in China are heavily censored, and every hint of criticism is removed—so when Gao Wenqian first published this groundbreaking, provocative biography in Hong Kong, it was immediately banned in the People's Republic.

Using classified documents spirited out of China, Gao Wenqian offers an objective human portrait of the real Zhou, a man who lived his life at the heart of Chinese politics for fifty years, who survived both the Long March and the Cultural Revolution not thanks to ideological or personal purity, but because he was artful, crafty, and politically supple. He may have had the looks of a matinee idol, and Nixon may have called him "the greatest statesman of our era," but Zhou's greatest gift was to survive, at almost any price, thanks to his acute understanding of where political power resided at any one time.

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About the Author:

Gao Wenqian is the former official biographer of Zhou Enlai at the Chinese Institute of Central Documents. He participated in preparing the official versions of Biography of Mao Zedong and Biography of Zhou Enlai, granting him access to highly classified archives of the Chinese Communist Party. Gao came to the U.S. in 1993 as visiting scholar at Columbia University. Later, he received funding from the Wilson International Center at Princeton University and Harvard University. He lives in Queens, New York.

Review:

"(t)he story of this great survivor is celebrated in a new biography written by Gao Wenqian, a former insider in the Chinese Communist Party's research department... (A)s Gao points out, the collapse of the former Soviet Union and East European Communist countries began with the demystification of official history and the re-evaluation of major historical events and people. This is his contribution to that process in his native country." -- Tribune, December 30th, 2007

"Mr Gao's biography does supply some new information about how Mao's closest lieutenants, notably Zhou Enlai, usually obeyed him, at first because they shared his ruthlessness, and later, understandably if contemptibly, to save themselves." -- Far Eastern Economic Review, December Issue

"a valuable and revealing book on the brutish and incredibly cruel nature of the Maoist regime... For a sense of what life as a top Communist leader under Mao was like look no further." -- BBC History Magazine, January Issue

"an incredibly fascinating eyewitness or well researched account about a man the West knew little about." -- Daily Kos, December 12th, 2007

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Gao Wenqian/Translated by Peter Rand and Lawrence R. Sullivan
Published by PublicAffairs / Perseus Books, New York (2007)
ISBN 10: 158648415X ISBN 13: 9781586484156
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Book Description PublicAffairs / Perseus Books, New York, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. 345pp., xiv. Stated "First Edition" with '1' in number line. Introduction by Andrew J. Nathan. 8pp of glossy black and white photo-illustrations near middle of fore-edge. List of Sources, pp. 319-330; Index, pp. 331-345. (Newer edition 2008, Hachette, has 24 additional pages, apparently.) Black boards and spine with brilliant gilt lettering on spine. Glossy dustwrapper not price-clipped ($27.95) with large front cover color photo-illustration of Zhou Enlai, above red band across lower front cover for title lettering in white. Dustwrapper bumped at bottom right front cover corner (NOT book itself), else unqualifiedly New. (No previous owner names. Bookseller Inventory # 000706

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Gao, Wenqian
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Book Description PublicAffairs / Perseus Books, New York, NY, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First US edition 2007, first printing, number line starts with 1. Hardcover with DJ. Condition new, square tight and crisp book, no edgewear. DJ nw, bright and shiny, no tears no chips no edgewear, Price Not clipped. 8vo, XIV + 345 pages, bibliography, index. No markings of any kind, no names no underlinings no highlights no bent pages. Not a reminder. Bookseller Inventory # 009939

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