As one of the largest and most powerful political organizations that has ever stood on earth, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is both a crucial actor in and a main product of China's tortuous and turbulent quest for modernity. The CCP's successes, failures, explorations, and transformations not only profoundly shaped the trajectories of the Chinese society and the lives of billions of Chinese citizens but were also an integral part of the twentieth century global history, marked by revolutions, world wars, nationalist movements, and economic globalization. Despite its tremendous significance, however, the CCP remains largely an enigma to many foreign observers. Although an increasing number of journalists, policy practitioners, and academics are now in the business of “China-watching,” the enthusiasm for deciphering CCP's current policies and action is often not matched by an adequate command of knowledge about the Party's past, from which its current visions, preferences, and organizational practices are originated.
Viewed in the light, Tony Saich's majestic book, From Rebel to Ruler: On Hundred Years of the Chinese Communist Party, is a valuable and timely contribution. The book offers a fresh and comprehensive account of the history of the Chinese Communist Party over the last one hundred years, beginning with
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Ukraine, Russia, and the West
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