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Reviews 227© 1997 by University ofHawai'i Press romanized words only haphazardly. In a bizarre error, a drawing on page 204 of the Guanxian irrigation system in Sichuan (which also is known as the Dujiang Yan, "dam on the Capital River") is said to have been "drawn by Dujiang Yan." More significantiy, the old Needham emphasis on Chinese priority in inventions looks, in this new condensed volume, increasingly retrograde as a cultural argument. That emphasis undoubtedly was tactically useful halfa century ago, when Needham began his great project and the field ofhistory ofChinese science didn't exist yet (because he was in fhe process ofcreating it), but now fhe issue of priority seems like a rather pointiess sort ofspecial pleading. In a sense this problem shows fhat Ronan's work of condensation is too faifhful to fhe original, retaining what might beneficially have been downplayed. This book is, on the whole, a pretty good stand-in for the expensive and elaborate volumes on which it is based. It also serves, sadly, as a reminder of Colin Ronan's devotion to the work ofJoseph Needham and to the Needham Institute. John S. Major John S. Major, formerly an associateprofessor ofhistory at Dartmouth College, works as an editor and independent scholar in New York City. He is the author o/Heaven and Earth in Early Han Thought (SUNYPress, 1993J. H Ruan Ming. DengXiaoping: Chronicle ofan Empire. Translated and edited by Nancy Liu, Peter Rand, and Lawrence R. Sullivan, with a foreword by Andrew J. Nathan. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1994. xxi, 288 pp. Hardcover $69.00, isbn 0-8133-1920-x. Paperback $19.95, isbn 0-8133-1921-8. Ruan Ming, a former employee offhe Theoretical Research Department offhe Central Party School, has written an interesting account ofthe power struggles within the Chinese Communist Party leadership between 1976 and 1993. It mainly covers the confrontation between Deng Xiaoping, his two chosen successors, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang, and the "Chen Yun Clique." According to Ruan this "Clique"—including Chen Yun, Wang Zhen, Deng Liqun, Hu Qiaomu, and others —succeeded in a three-step strategy: "First align wifh Deng to dethrone Hua Guofeng; second, align wifh Zhao Ziyang to destroy Hu Yaobang; third, align with Deng Xiaoping to get rid ofZhao Ziyang—and thus isolate Deng Xiaoping" (p. 110). 228 China Review International: Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1997 This is an unusual book. It is not an autobiographical account ofa leading Party or government official participating in the power struggles described. It is not a scholarly publication either; sources are rarely disclosed, and otiier scholarly works hardly mentioned. It is not even a "chronicle"; in fact, descriptions ofand opinions on numerous events in CCP history are mixed up in rather chaotic fashion . This account has more in common with the "insider" reports of some Hong Kong journals. Stül, the author was only briefly an "insider": he was expelled from the CCP around 1983, because "Deng Liqun had mounted a conspiracy" (p. 122). Thus, this account of the subsequent decade ofinternal CCP struggles was prepared by an "outsider," who left for the United States in 1988. As his expulsion from the Party was due to his "reformist" attitude and support for Hu Yaobang, he cannot be considered an objective observer. In fact, Ruan Ming does not try to hide his admiration for Hu Yaobang, "a reformer and democrat" (p. 152), and his contempt for Zhao Ziyang and his "advisers"; Chen Yun is simply described as "vicious" (p. 109). Even though the "Chen Yun Clique" features prominendy in the text, its origins and structure remain in the dark. When the author mentions the "Clique," he refers mainly to Hu Qiaomu and Deng Liqun, and there are very few convincing statements on Chen Yun's role in it. The rare references to Chen's personal career are partly incorrect and misleading, such as the claim that Chen "made his way to Moscow in the company ofWang Ming and Kang Sheng" (p. 108). In general, the author displays a rather superficial knowledge ofCCP history , and fhe references to the 1930s and 1940s and even the 1950s are full ofmistakes . However, this account does provide some...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 227-228
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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