Cover: Dilemmas of Victory: The Early Years of the People's Republic of China, from Harvard University PressCover: Dilemmas of Victory in PAPERBACK

Dilemmas of Victory

The Early Years of the People's Republic of China

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Product Details


$32.00 • £25.95 • €29.00

ISBN 9780674047020

Publication Date: 03/15/2010


480 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

1 line illustration, 1 table


The authors of the essays contained in this volume bring with them an extraordinarily wide range of different disciplinary and personal interests ranging from Chen Jian’s political history of the takeover of Tibet, through Perry Link’s literary analysis of comic skits, to Gail Hershatter’s accounts of the changing lives of rural midwives… [It’s] a fascinating read sparking a whole variety of new ways of looking at the 1949 revolution and the early People’s Republic.—Henrietta Harrison, Chinese Historical Review

Taking advantage of access to new sources in Chinese and even U.S. archives, personal papers, and oral interviews with surviving individuals, these essays compel a reconsideration of the early communist period… Indispensible reading for understanding Chinese society and the nascent communist state in 1949–1953.—L. Teh, Choice

Strongly recommended. This rich and textured book brings to life a complex period, filling a major gap in our understanding of the early years of the People’s Republic of China. In discussing the viability of ‘New Democracy,’ the book will provoke debate about how and under what circumstances the transition to socialism began. The many thoroughly researched stories in this important book will be of interest to a large audience.—Thomas P. Bernstein, Columbia University

The history of the early People’s Republic is one of the more exciting frontiers in the study of modern China. These essays show that it is possible to address many central issues in the history of the early 1950s from perspectives other than those of the central government or party. Very well researched and well written, Dilemmas of Victory will receive wide attention, and I recommend it with enthusiasm.—William C. Kirby, Harvard University

This important book opens up a critical, and virtually unresearched, period in PRC history in strikingly original ways. Combining strong essays by leading specialists with the creative work of a new generation of scholars, it will be widely discussed by China specialists and comparativists across history, the social sciences, and the humanities.—Mark Selden, Cornell University

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Celebrating Pride Month

To celebrate Pride Month, we are highlighting excerpts from books that explore the lives and experiences of the LGBT+ community. Nathaniel Frank’s Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America tells the dramatic story of the struggle for same-sex couples to legally marry, something that is now taken for granted. Below, he describes the beginnings of the gay rights movement. For homophiles of the 1950s, identifying as gay was almost always a risky and radical act