Additional Readings and Links

Popular Protest and Political Culture in Modern China
Second Edition

edited by Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom and Elizabeth J. Perry


The first edition of this volume was intended for classroom use, and since its appearance in 1992 we either have assigned it ourselves or heard of it being assigned as required reading for a variety of courses, ranging from general introductory surveys of modern Chinese history to specialized classes that deal exclusively with conflicting interpretations of the events of 1989 to comparative seminars that focus on theories of revolutionary change. One of our main goals in putting together the second edition was to make the book a more effective and attractive pedagogic tool for the teachers of these and other related courses. As we pointed out in the Preface, some chapters were deleted and new ones were added to some degree with this aim in mind, but perhaps the most significant changes relating to classroom use in this volume are those that have affected the format of the book. Whereas the first edition simply presented a series of chapters on different specific topics, this new edition is broken up into thematic parts, each of which begins with a brief introduction and an annotated list of readings that we felt might be useful to assign in conjunction with this book. The main purpose of this note is simply to explain the reasoning behind the construction of these lists, to describe our vision of how these lists might best be used, and then finally to draw attention to some supplementary works that, for one reason or another, did not seem appropriate to list in the introduction to any particular thematic part.

First, we have not included the lists of recommended materials as an attempt to present a canon of the "most important" works on particular subjects. Instead, the supplementary readings are intended to draw attention to thought-provoking texts by scholars (and in some cases journalists, novelists, poets, filmmakers, or artists) whose arguments reinforce those presented here, differ from them in interesting ways, or explore specific issues that the contributors to this volume do not address directly. The lists are meant to be suggestive rather than comprehensive, and we admit that they are idiosyncratic. When compiling the lists, we have tried to avoid the temptation to simply pull out a few of the main works cited by various contributors in their chapters, since it is easy enough for the reader to figure out whom particular authors are looking to for evidence and inspiration. Of course, some of the texts on our lists are cited in various chapters of the book; but in the introductions to each part we also have drawn attention to works that either were ignored by contributors or appeared after their chapters were completed.

How instructors will use our lists will depend largely on the types of classes and level of students they teach. With this in mind, we have divided each list into four categories: works on contemporary (or what is sometimes called "post-Mao") China; works on Chinese history; studies of other countries or theoretical pieces that do not focus on any particular nation; and primary sources (for example, films, a book of reproductions of propaganda posters, and more conventional types of literary texts). We have tried to make sure that each list draws attention to at least some works that are short, readily available, and straightforward enough to assign in introductory courses. While our emphasis throughout is on article-length pieces, we also include references to monographs and (in a few cases) even unpublished dissertations that we thought might make useful reading for advanced-undergraduate and graduate students preparing papers or in-class presentations. Almost all the books listed are available in paperback editions.

Finally, we should mention the omission from the lists of several types of works that some instructors might find very helpful to pair with this book but that contain arguments or information that have relevance for all of the thematic parts of this volume rather than for any particular one. This is true, for example, of most of the best general introductory texts to modern Chinese history or politics, such as Frederic Wakeman Jr.'s The Fall of Imperial China (New York: Free Press, 1975), a social historical survey of the events leading up to 1911; Jonathan Spence's The Search for Modern China (New York: Norton, 1992), which covers the period from circa 1644 to 1989; Lucien Bianco's Origins of the Chinese Revolution (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1966), which remains the best concise and accessible introduction to the Chinese Communist Party's rise to power; Maurice Meisner's Mao's China and After (New York: Free Press, 1986), which chronicles the history of the People's Republic of China; Lowell Dittmer's China's Continuous Revolution (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), which highlights the importance of ideology and culture in the development of the People's Republic of China; Roderick MacFarquhar, ed., The Politics of China: 1949-1989 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), which contains chapters on key themes in contemporary politics; and James R. Townsend and Brantly Womack's Politics in China (Boston: Little, Brown, 1986), which provides an intelligent structural-functional analysis of the workings of the contemporary Chinese political system. These works should prove particularly useful in undergraduate courses. For graduate seminars, texts that provide general comparative, theoretical, or historiographic frameworks that help place the chapters in this volume in perspective include Paul Cohen's Discovering History in China: American Historical Writing on the Recent Chinese Past (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984), Daniel Chirot's The Crisis of Leninism and the Decline of the Left: The Revolutions of 1989 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1991), and assorted volumes of The Cambridge History of China (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, various years). In addition, because our volume focuses on urban China, undergraduate and graduate students alike might benefit from reading it in conjunction with a work on Chinese village life that highlights the interplay between culture and politics, such as Anita Chan, Richard Madsen, and Jonathan Unger's Chen Village Under Mao and Deng (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992).

Three other types of books that we do not cite in the lists provided in the introductions to the specific thematic parts are collections of essays on 1989 that are similar to this one, works composed largely of translations of documents from the 1989 social movement, and eyewitness accounts both of the protest and the repression by people who were in Beijing or other parts of China at the time. Of the many conference volumes and other types of essay collections that have appeared, the following are some of the ones that might be most interesting to pair with ours: Roger Des Forges et al., eds., Chinese Democracy and the Crisis of 1989: Chinese and American Reflections (Albany: SUNY Press, 1993); Arthur Rosenbaum, ed., State and Society in China: The Consequences of Reform (Boulder: Westview Press, 1992); George Hicks, ed., The Broken Mirror: China After Tiananmen (Chicago: St. James Press, 1990); and Tony Saich, ed., The Chinese People's Movement: Perspectives on Spring 1989 (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1990). Some of the most useful document collections include Suzanne Ogden et al., eds., China's Search for Democracy: The Student and Mass Movement of 1989 (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1992); Michel Oksenberg et al., eds., Beijing Spring, 1989: Confrontation and Conflict, The Basic Documents (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1990); and Han Minzhu, ed., Cries for Democracy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990). A few of the more thoughtful firsthand narratives include Lee Feigon, China Rising: The Meaning of Tiananmen (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1990); Scott Simmie and Bob Nixon, Tiananmen Square (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1989); Jonathan Unger, ed., The Pro-Democracy Protests in China: Reports from the Provinces (Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1991); and George Black and Robin Munro, Black Hands of Beijing (New York: John Wiley, 1993).

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