In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

586 China Review International: Vol. 4, No. 2, Fall 1997 Joseph K. S. Yick. Making Urban Revolution in China: The CCP-GMD Strugglefor Beiping-Tianjin, 1945-1949. Studies on Contemporary China. Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1995. xxv, 233 pp. Hardcover $60.00, isbn 1-56324-605-8. Paperback $22.50, isbn 1-56324-606-6. This is a study of the organizational efforts and political competition between the CCP and the GMD in Beiping and Tianjin during the post-World War II civil war period in China. Joseph Yick's primary thesis is that the CCP recognized that its final triumph would have to include winning over the cities in the propaganda sense; it was not simply leading a rural revolution in which military conquest of the cities would be adequate for it to assume control of China. Accordingly, the CCP (even, Yick suggests, including Mao) devoted increasing attention to its work in the cities as the civil war reached the final stages. The result of this work, plus the GMD's ineptness, allowed the CCP to take over the key urban areas of Beiping and Tianjin with little bloodshed or disruption and win the propaganda war for the hearts of the inhabitants of these two key cities. The book is graced with a good, solid introduction and conclusion in which the author clearly presents his views and conclusions. It also contains an impressive bibliography of more than five hundred titles; these are not divided into categories , but they range from contemporary newspaper articles to personal reminiscences , from published collections of primary source materials to scholarly analytical studies. A very large proportion of them are Chinese-language materials . In addition, a very large proportion (especially the primary source materials) comes from CCP sources. The account as it relates to the GMD seems to come mostly from English-language secondary source material, or from the CCP perception of GMD efforts and policies. The body of the book, although filled with much supporting information, is unfortunately not as well written as the introduction and conclusion. Yick has a tendency to give his facts first, and only then suggest how he interprets them. This leaves the reader with a wealth of names and events whose relation to Yick's thesis is not always entirely clear. Furthermore, and not surprising in view of the sources, we get a much clearer picture of CCP efforts than we do of what the GMD was doing. Yick interlaces his narrative of CCP organization and activities with references to GMD corruption, lack of unity, the crumbling economy, and the like, but this reader came away feeling that she would have liked more explanation and analysis, and in certain places more detaii, related to the GMD. oj awat ? ressWiUi respect to the general situation, there are also problems ofcontext. For example, in discussing inflation and food shortages, at one point Yick tells us how much white flour per person could be purchased with the funds raised by a cer-© 1997 by University Reviews 587 tain committee, but doesn't explain how much white flour a person needed each month or whether or not there were other, less expensive substitutes. As a result, this reader did not feel she understood why the economy under the GMD got so far out of control, nor did she feel she had an adequate picture ofhow this affected the people's ability to survive. There is also no discussion as to whether or not any of the difficulties that the GMD encountered in Beiping and Tianjin could have related to regionalism, even though problems related to regionalism are hinted at in a number ofplaces. On another topic, Yick does bring out some interesting material concerning the negative perception in northern China ofAmerican troops during the period when Marshall was trying to broker a peace between the GMD and the CCP. (Yick also correctly relates this to the GMD's difficulties.) But this author would have liked to know, for example, whether the tales ofrape by American troops (apart from the Shen Chong Incident, which Yick covers in some detail) were fairly accurate or were seriously exaggerated. In addition, Yick might well have...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 586-588
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.