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Reviews 239 charges ofthe vital essence ofmountains. West Lake is deep, tranquil and broad" (p. 201)—and so they continue to be, whether anyone writes about them or not. Jonathan Chaves The George Washington University NOTE S 1. Shen Wen-cho tfcStW, ed., 5« Shun-ch'in chi (Peking: Chung-hua Shu-chü, 1961), p. 186. 2.Jonathan Chaves, "The Yellow Mountain Poems of Ch'ien Ch'ien-i: Poetry as Yu-chi," Harvard Journal ofAsiatic Studies 48, no. 2 (December 1988): 465^192. 3.Kathlyn Maurean Liscomb, Learningfrom Mount Hua: A Chinese Physician's Illustrated Travel Record and Painting Theory (Cambridge University Press, 1993). 4.For a complete translation and study, see Hellmut Wilhelm, "Shih Ch'ung and His Chin-ku-yiian," Monumenta Serica 18 (1959): pp. 314-327. 5.C. S. Lewis, The Abolition ofMan (New York: Collier Books, 1947; reprint), pp. 13-17. Frederick C. Teiwes and Warren Sun, editors. The Politics ofAgricultural Cooperativization in China: Mao, DengZihui, and the "High Tide" of1955. Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1993. 227 pp. Paperback $37.50. Scholars familiar with the socialist transformation of China's agricultural sector recognize that the policy reversal culminating in the "High Tide" of 1955 was a pivotal event in the economic, political, and social history ofthe People's Republic of China. Teiwes and Sun note diis general appreciation, but they also believe tiiat crucial aspects, specifically the leadership politics and political process which evolved during this period should receive greater scrutiny in the face ofnew sources of information and recent interpretations by Chinese researchers. The central argument put forth by the editors in the introduction ofthis fascinating volume of translations is that the traditional interpretation of the party conflicts that eventually resulted in the extremely rapid expansion ofagricultural cooperatives after late July of 1955 is both simplistic and flawed. The standard treatment ofthe "High Tide" assigns critical participants in the debate to either of two "paths," manifest as the "two line struggle" between conservatives (Deng Zihui) and radicals (Mao Zedong) widiin die highest echelons ofdie CCP. Through© 1995 by University translations ofthe speeches and writings ofthe actual participants in the debate, ofHawai'iPressTeiwes and Sun provide a more detailed picture ofthese complex events which suggests that a different interpretation is warranted. 240 China Review International: Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 1995 The core issue would appear to be differences in opinions regarding how quickly cooperative institutions could be introduced in rural China. That is, within what period of time could die peasant economy be transformed to collectivized agriculture without inciting social unrest and declines in productivity. It is certain that all of the key participants in this policy debate clearly understood die costs of excess in either direction. If cooperativization was mandated too rapidly ("rash advance "), die lack ofvillage-level managerial skills, local capital, and peasant support would result in the collapse of the agricultural sector. Alternately, a more conservative approach might serve to fuel class conflict, stifle revolutionary zeal, and permit the "spontaneous tendency ofthe peasants toward capitalism" to grow. Based on die documents provided, it would appear that most high-level officials apparently supported the slow and gradual expansion, and simultaneous consolidation, of cooperatives. This cautious approach was favored so that local demonstration effects could be realized, membership would be voluntary, and social disruptions would be minimized. Support for this more modest pace for the transformation ofprivate land to cooperatives appears to have been widespread even as late as die first halfof 1955. By October ofthat year, however, virtually all national and provincial leaders had capitulated to Mao Zedong's desire to markedly increase the pace of cooperativization. The editors certainly recognize that by late July 1955, two positions were clearly in evidence. Their research suggests, however, tiiat this fracture occurred quite late in what, prior to the break, could be interpreted as a debate that was more pragmatic than ideological. Even in late March of that year, Bo Yibo recollects (p. 146) that Mao Zedong and Deng Zihui were in general agreement with respect to slowing the pace of cooperativization due to problems in the countryside. Mao's surprising reversals in May and July are credited to observations he made...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 239-241
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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