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tists with their own understandably distinct dered particularly tricky by all the ways clarity and the absence of restraints that rich agenda and style. The consequence of their those pronouncements can deceive. Usually documentation might impose. At first based dominance is a literature tending in two couched in explicit and correct ideological largely on circumstantial evidence, the facdirections, each bearing features that are terms, they may not reflect the more direct, tional interpretation enjoyed a major boost worrisome because of the effect they may less jargon-ridden inner-party discussions during the Cultural Revolution when matehave in slowing and skewing the use of new and directives. They are, moreover, some- rial on elite conflict became public. As a materials on the CCP. 13

times intended to manipulate foreigners, and result, a variety of factional cleavages have One tendency, marked but by no means thus are couched in terms that the party gained prominence in the writing of Chinadominant, is a preoccupation with theoreti- thinks will be effective on its target audience, watchers, and soon found their way back

, cal abstractions. What may most strike not in teri that are revealing of inner-party into the work on party history produced by historians is how this theory-building enter- calculations. Finally, they may be directed at political scientists. Perhaps the best known prise tends to thrive under conditions that an audience altogether different from the one of the factional interpretations has arrayed are euphemistically described by those who the contemporary foreign reader may have “Maoists” against Moscow-oriented “interattempt it as “data poor” (if imagination assumed was the target.


nationalists."20 rich). We can all call to mind efforts to American observers' misreading of the The new materials have raised two sets construct and test high-flying theoretical CCP's propaganda line from mid-1945 to of doubts about the factional model. On the formulations that get off the ground only mid-1946 offers a good example of these one hand, they offer little to support even a after the perilous potholes along the interpretive difficulties. Inner-party docu- circumstantial argument for the existence of evidentiary runway are carefully smoothed ments now capture Mao Zedong as a back- factions, and on the other they have set in over. Once airborne, those formulations stage operator, carefully orchestrating an at- question the Cultural Revolution evidence stay aloft only so long as no dangerous tempt to manipulate Washington into an en- used to beat down former party leaders. mountains of data intrude in the flight path. gagement in Chinese politics beneficial to Some of this evidence is of doubtful authenThe virtuosity of the performance can be the CCP. He was not intent, as most students ticity, and much seems torn from context to impressive, but it usually comes at the price of the period have naturally concluded on the score political points. of obscuring the fascinating complexity of basis of the public record, on dismissing It would prove ironic indeed if the facpolitical life with sometimes mind-numb- American contacts or rejecting American tional model turns out to offer a no more ing abstractions. 14 involvement. 17

subtle treatment of Chinese politics than The second, perhaps more pronounced An even more complicated example of does the former dependence of the CCP's tendency among political scientists is to the perils of reading public signals is Zhou own analysts on struggles within monopoly approach Chinese policy with a stronger Enlai’s interview on 3 October 1950 with the capitalism to explain U.S. politics. Undenicommitment to description and a more de- Indian ambassador. Often cited retrospec- ably, informal networks and shifting coaliveloped historical sensibility. Political sci- tively as one of a string of crystal-clear tions have played a part in PRC politics, but

. entists working along these lines bring to warnings issued by Beijing following the a compelling, carefully documented case their work an awareness of the way that outbreak of the Korean War, Zhou's own has not yet been made that those networks skimpy documentation hobbles their inter- language in the formal Chinese record is in have supported stable and identifiable as pretive effort. This group also follows an fact strikingly muffled and vague and does opposed to complex and cross-cutting poold-fashioned faith in the importance of not accurately convey the depth of Mao's litical attachments. Scholars pressing facindividual leaders' values, style, and per- commitment to intervention at that moment. tional claims bear the responsibility for besonality—especially Mao's. 15 But the pau- Zhou was apparently aware that he might be ing explicit about their definition of the city of good documentation long locked misconstrued and worked with his translator term, marshalling reliable evidence, and setCCP decisionmaking in a black box and to get his point across. But U.S. China- ting whatever factional activity may exist forced these China-watchers to find modes watchers in Hong Kong had difficulty ex- within the broad political context so as to of analysis that would help them make sense tracting a clear message from that October clarify the relative importance of such activof limited evidence and communicate their interview, and the puzzle still remains for ity. findings promptly and clearly to the broad historians today looking back. While we A final shortcut rendered doubtful by policy community. Determined to make may puzzle over whether Zhou's lack of the new CCP history is the China-watchers' some sense of what was going on inside the clarity was inadvertent or by design, the reliance on China's own international afblack box, these analysts developed a vari- point remains that this critical public pro- fairs “experts” as a prime source of informa

18 ety of tools to penetrate its mysteries. How- nouncement is still hard to interpret. tion.21 These experts, often accessible and ever, the problematic nature of some of An emphasis on factions, the relatively able to speak the language (both literally and those tools is becoming apparent as the new stable groups united by some sort of figuratively) of Western analysts, have beCCP sources open up that box for the first overarching interest or ideology, 19 is an- come over the past decade understandably time and permit comparison of past inter- other of the questionable short-cuts employed attractive contacts, constituting along with pretations with the newer, more richly docu- by China-watchers struggling to make sense their foreign counterparts a transnational mented understanding.

of Beijing politics. The reduction of compli- community of policy specialists and comThe reading of public pronouncements, cated political choices to stark factional al- mentators on current international affairs. long a mainstay of China-watchers, is ren- ternatives reflected the analysts' need for But the new history underlines the limited insights of these experts by revealing the to dispense with all but the most modest, the complex relationship of past to presentdegree to which decisionmaking on critical commonsensical “theory" and perhaps even of how the present may subtly influence the issues has been closely held, the monopoly to enter the fray over what the evidence agenda for historical research and how hisof a handful of leaders. Moreover, the new actually means. The theoretically enthralled torical findings may illuminate current probhistory reveals that major decisions have may thereby rediscover in Chinese policy lems. often been tightly guarded, not something to some of the classic and "soft" issues of share with a foreigner-except where it suits international politics—the importance of Defining a Historical Agenda the purposes of the party center to make personality, the contingent nature of poliavailable partial and sometimes tendentious tics, the complexity of thought behind ac- CCP foreign policy is, as the above information.

tion, and the persistence and power of politi- discussion suggests, a field distinctly in flux. The shift toward a more historical ren- cal culture.

Specialists have put a good deal of time and dering of the CCP past should have a notable While this new CCP history should give energy into coping with the recent flood of impact on political science research. Those political scientists pause, they also have im- valuable documentary and other materials. of a more descriptive bent should welcome portant contributions to make to a more The flood may be cresting, and those who and benefit from the accumulation of fresh historically oriented field. Their concern have escaped drowning and reached the evidence that makes possible greater ana- with understanding the state and explaining safety of high ground are now in a position lytic rigor and sharper interpretive insight. its exercise of power has generated a reper- to reflect on their future tasks. The more theoretically inclined may be the toire of theories that may prove helpful to

The most obvious is to link a better more threatened, but some will accommo- anyone trying to make sense of considerable documented version of CCP external reladate to the new data, using it as ballast that new data and still uncertain of the most tions chronologically and thematically to will keep them closer to the safety of the fruitful way to frame the issues. Moreover, Chinese foreign relations in general. Qing ground. Indeed, it is possible that taking a the political scientists' preoccupation with sources, printed and archival, have long been longer view and looking at the implications contemporary questions stands as a salutary available, and have been recently reinforced of better documented cases may induce them reminder to the more historically oriented of by the opening of collections located in the



Consequently, the selection process often AND THE HISTORIOGRAPHY

For the purpose of mobilizing the party's resulted in a substantive revision of the texts OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST rank and file as well as the masses, the CCP of historical documents. For example, it is REVOLUTION1

has long carried out a practice of compiling well known among China scholars that the

and publishing the works of Party leaders. texts of many pieces in Mao Zedong xuanji By Chen Jian

The most important example in this regard is were substantially altered from the original

the publication of the four-volume Mao versions. The study of 20th-century Chinese his- Zedong xuanji (Selected Works of Mao Yet scholars of the Chinese revolution, tory, especially the history of the Chinese Zedong) in the 1950s and 1960s. Alto- including historians, have widely used such Communist revolution, has experienced a gether, over 100,000,000 sets of xuanji had publications as Mao Zedong xuanji as their boom in the late 1980s and early 1990s been printed and sold by 1966-1967, making primary sources. Indeed, at a time that largely for two reasons. First, the introduc- them, together with the famous "little red Western scholars had to travel to Hong Kong, tion of the “reform and opening to the out- book” (Quotations of Chairman Mao), the Taipei, and Tokyo to collect materials on the side world” policy in the People's Republic “Red Bible” during the years of the “Great Chinese Communist revolution, how could of China in the late 1970s and early 1980s Proletarian Cultural Revolution.” (As a by- they exclude Mao Zedong xuanji from their

” resulted in a more flexible political and product, Chairman Mao became the richest data base? The openly published selected academic environment, which enabled Chi- person in China from royalty income, al- works by CCP leaders, together with official nese scholars, historians in particular, to though, according to the memoirs of his

though, according to the memoirs of his CCP statements, contemporaneous newspaconduct their studies in more creative and nurses and bodyguards, he disliked money per and journal literature, and, in some cases, critical ways. Second, the release of many and was unwilling to touch it himself.) The Guomindang (Nationalist Party) and Westprevious unavailable documentary sources publication of works of the CCP leaders was ern intelligence reports, formed the docuabout the activities of the Chinese Commu- not designed to provide scholars with reli- mentary basis of Western studies on the nist Party (CCP) makes it possible for schol- able source materials to study the party's Chinese Communist revolution before the ars, both in China and in the West, to base past; rather, it was aimed to guide the revo- early 1980s. Sometimes China scholars had

. their studies on a more comprehensive docu- lutionary mass movement into the orbit set no choice but to rely on obviously flawed mentary foundation. This paper reviews the up by the party.

documentary sources. As a result, in those works of CCP leaders that have been com- Thus, the criteria for selecting the works years, the ability to make good “educated piled and published (both internally and of Party leaders followed the Party's needs. guesses” was a necessary quality for every openly) since the early 1980s, examining Indeed, only those documents which served Western scholar writing about China. their influence on the historical writing of to promote the Party's current policy, or to

II the Chinese Communist revolution. enhance the Party's and its leaders’ image of In a brief sketch, it is hard to describe being “eternally correct,” were made public.

continued on page 144



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PRC. Materials from the Republican era get they often resolve by impaling themselves such terms as “national interest,” “strategic steadily better as fresh publications appear on one or the other of its horns.

interests,” “geostrategic imperatives,” and and archives open on Taiwan and within the Of all the dualisms, none is more perva- "geopolitical realities.” Thus we get acPRC. The new CCP material helps round sive and troubling than the idea of the “inter- counts that confidently proclaim China's out an already rich documentary base and national system” and its conceptual twin, foreign relations is “propelled by national makes all the more urgent an integrated “domestic determinants.” Amoment of criti- interests” (not its evil twin, “ideology”). treatment of China's external relations. cal reflection reminds us that the make-up of Other accounts seek to differentiate “pragDrawing on this range of sources, historians the international system is not self-evident, matic” policies (usually linked with Zhou

” can begin to offer in-depth treatment of all and those who champion its power to shape Enlai's or Deng Xiaoping's name) from the kinds of topics associated with a well national policy differ widely on what the “radical” or “provocative” policies (here developed foreign-relations literature— system is and how it works. Claims for the Mao or the “Gang of Four” is likely to from important personalities to the relation primacy of “domestic determinants” suffer appear), and hold up as an ideal a “balanceof policy to the “public.” It should also from an equally serious problem: “domes- of-power” approach that secures “strategic convey a more complex sense of policy with tic” is understood so narrowly and “determi- interests,” “national security,” and “foreignfeatures-economic opportunism, political nants” is taken so literally that the phrase is policy interests” in a changing “internaflexibility, cultural ambivalence, strategic almost drained of its significance.

tional system.” opportunism, and policy confusion-long The impulse to distinguish domestic and While this language most commonly associated with the better studied policies of international influences may not be particu- appears in American writing on contempoother countries. To bring these themes into larly useful in understanding the foreign rary China, Chinese scholars writing about better focus specialists will want to place policy of any country, and in the case of their country's foreign policy have been the CCP's historical experience in a com- China draws a distinction that party leaders showing signs of appropriating this vocabuparative framework and look for insight on from Chen Duxiu to Deng Xiaoping would lary. Influenced by American international the CCP that might emerge from juxtaposi- have found baffling, even wrong-headed. relations literature as well by their own search tion with other foreign-relations histories.22 The growing availability of documentation for a usable foreign-policy past, they have

This broad agenda, good as far as it makes it possible to argue what common emphasized the neatly formulated and goes, neglects a fundamental and necessar- sense already suggests—that discussions of smoothly executed nature of Chinese policy ily unsettling interpretive collision about to Chinese policy need to transcend this and the and held up Zhou Enlai as a model of “realplay out within the CCP foreign-relations other stark categories that narrow and im- ism” and “expertise,” while wrestling over field. Its resolution bears directly on the poverish our discourse.

whether to make Mao's contributions to kind of agenda the field will follow. As Some scholars (including political sci-foreign-policy“realistic”or“ideological.”:25 historians turn to CCP foreign relations, entists) have already begun to escape these Behind this vocabulary lurks a strongly they will bring with them an anthropologi- stark alternatives. 24 They have shown not judgmental impulse antipathetic to less unical concern with culture and a post-modern just that Mao and his colleagues operated versal, more culture-specific insights. Unsensitivity to language, both currently strong within an international arena of Cold War derstanding policy, whatever its complexipreoccupations within their discipline. 23 rivalry and in a China of revolutionary aspi- ties, takes a back seat to handing down a

a Those interpretive proclivities are distinctly rations and conflict but also that those worlds clear-cut verdict based on what a “rational" at odds with at least three fundamental fea- overlapped and interacted. Conclusions or “realistic” actor would have done in a tures of the established literature and dis- drawn from the behavior of the American particular set of circumstances. course defined by political science. Finding imperialists, upheavals observed in Eastern The Korean War literature starkly illusways to make fresh, thoughtful use of the Europe, and Nikita Khrushchev's theses on trates this point about the powerful impulse new historical evidence is here as perhaps in peaceful coexistence played off against in- toevaluate the rationality or realism of policy. general inextricably tied to a critical exami- ternal discussions and debates about the best Chinese scholars have joined Americans in nation of older, well worn, and often narrow road for China's socialist development, treat- reporting approvingly on Beijing's reassurchannels of interpretation.

ment of peasants and intellectuals, the nature ingly clear, unitary, and above all carefully One point of conflict arises from the of party leadership, and China's appropriate calculated response to U.S. intervention on long-established tendency to cast policy in place in a world revolutionary movement. the peninsula. In the American literature on terms of antinomies that in effect impose an Together the foreign and the domestic strands deterrence China's handling of the Korean interpretive strait-jacket. The literature is were interwoven into a single web, and nei- War has even been enshrined as a positive peppered with reference to policies that are ther strand can be removed without doing model in striking contrast to the bumblings supposed to fit in one of several either/or fundamental harm to our understanding of of U.S. policymakers at the time 26 Sub

. categories. Policies were either “idealistic” the whole.

jected now to a closer look thanks to the new or “realistic.” They were either “ideologi- A second point of likely conflict is an evidence, this positive characterization seems cally driven” or responsive to “situational interpretive vocabulary whose unexamined wide of the mark. Mao and his associates, it factors.” They were shaped either by the assumptions exercise a quiet but nonetheless now turns out, were themselves engulfed in “international system” or by “domestic de- dangerous linguistic tyranny. Any reader of the kind of messy and confused terminants." These alternatives confront international relations would recognize the decisionmaking that also afflicted Amerischolars with an interpretive dilemma that widely used lexicon, including prominently can leaders. Viewed in this new light,

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Beijing's reaction to the Korean crisis be- mentally culture-bound or at least that em- tioned by personal background, beliefs, and comes interesting not so much for the evalu- ploy a definition of culture so narrow as to surroundings. ative question of who did the better job but close off potentially interesting lines of in- Analysts using imposed, culture-bound rather for the interpretive question of how do vestigation. Historians more interested in categories find themselves in much the same we understand the limits of cultural under- understanding the past than judging it will impossible situation an outsider would face standing and human control in a story strongly find limited appeal in hauling CCP leaders in trying to understand the Australian abmarked by chaos and contingency. These into court and formulating a verdict on the origines who spoke Dyirbal. To ignore their observations are not meant to deny rational- basis of their realism.

language is to close the door to understandity on the part of Chinese policymakers or The third interpretive impulse likely to ing their world with its unfamiliar classificafor that matter on the part of Americans but create conflict is a notion of ideology that is tion: bayi (human males, animals); balan to highlight the difficulty of evaluating policy ahistorical and anemic. This unfortunate

ahistorical and anemic. This unfortunate (human females, water, fire, fighting); balam rationality, especially with the help of simple, approach to the role of ideas in policymaking (nonflesh food); and bala (a residual catdichotomous notions of policy as either real- is in part a reflection of the rigid dualisms egory).32 This breakdown may not make istic or idealistic, driven by either careful and fixation with rationality discussed above. much sense to an outsider, but if getting into calculations of national interest or by ungov- It is also a reflection of a broader tendency the head of the “other” is important, then ernable ideological impulses 27

during the Cold War to denigrate ideology uncovering the particular categories used to Though the critique of the rational actor as a peculiar deformation of the socialist constitute their world is essential. By conmodel is widely made and apparently widely bloc, a tendency that carried over into the trast, the conceptual baggage the observer accepted, 28 much of the CCP literature still China field as international relations spe- brings from home must be counted a serious seems unusually preoccupied with distin- cialists, schooled in comparative commu- impediment. Employing outside frames of guishing sound from misguided policy. This nism, applied a Soviet model to Chinese

nism, applied a Soviet model to Chinese reference may obscure more China-centered siren call to make judgments about interna- politics. In their accounts a pervasive, pow- and China-sensitive perspectives and thereby tional behavior finds a response in all of us, erful Marxist-Leninist ideology came to of- divert us from our ultimate destination—the but answering the call carries dangers. The fer an important key to understanding Chi- understanding of China's beliefs and behavmost apparent is the tendency for simple nese policy.

ior in international affairs. 33 judgments and a polemical style to appeal The resulting notions of CCP ideology One promising way to get beyond simple most strongly when limited evidence af- are, it would now appear, ahistorical. The and mutually exclusive notions of CCP idefords the weakest supporting grounds for use of the Soviet Union as a starting point for ology-forexample, either making it “Marxthem. For example, it was easy to offer up an understanding Chinese thinking may be un- ism-Leninism” or “nationalism”—is to think idealized Mao when his own party decided wise and is certainly premature because the of it as a fabric that we can better understand what we should know, and it was natural to Soviet model is itself drawn in narrow politi- by following the strand of keywords. A move toward a negative appraisal when new cal terms and lacks firm historical ground- close look at those keywords and the relarevelations thrust at us serious, previously ing.29 Moreover, the Chinese party, which tionship among them might prove helpful in unsuspected personal flaws. As the evi- itselfonly recently began to come into sharper defining policy discourse over time and undence becomes fuller and more reliable for historical focus, is unlikely to offer an easy locking contending visions of China's place Mao as for the CCP in general, older judg- fit with any Soviet template. 30 Indeed, we in the world. 34 ments must confront previously unimagined may look back on this Sino-Soviet ideologi- “Patriotism” (aiguo zhuyi) is one of moral and political dimensions, and what cal model and realize that the conclusions those neglected keywords examined earlier previously seemed self-evident evaluations drawn from one set of highly circumstantial in these pages. Another is “small and weak dissolve into complexity.

studies became the foundation for another nationalities” (ruoxiao minzu). It too would But beyond the simple problem of judg- set of equally circumstantial studies. repay close examination, revealing comments handed down on scant or skewed The prevalent thin, abstract conception plexities not easily spotted in a straightforevidence there is a broader and more com- of ideology should not divert our attention ward reading of formal party statements. plex problem. The claim to understand and from more subtle and perhaps powerful in- Like patriotism, this term had its roots in the judge “national interest,” “national secu- formal ideologies that may be of consider- late Qing, and persisted in CCP discourse rity," and so forth rests on a fundamentally ably greater analytic value. 31 ”

Examining from the party founding through the Maoist metaphysical faith that value preferences the intellectual predispositions and funda- era and even beyond, injecting into it tenserve to settle otherwise eminently debat- mental assumptions that constitute informal sions as well as unintended ironies. China at able issues. That claim becomes often un- ideology may render us more sensitive to the times offered flamboyant rhetorical support thinkingly universalistic when scholars dis- cultural and social influences over policy. for its revolutionary neighbors, but it has cover in countries and cultures other than Such an approach may thus help us better also collided with India and Vietnam, both their own roughly comparable notions of understand how calculations of “interest” important members of that community to national interest and national security—at are rooted in social structure and filtered which China claimed to belong. How has least among policymakers deemed suffi- through a screen of culturally conditioned the concept of “small and weak nationaliciently skilled in the realist calculus of power. assumptions and how individual responses ties” evolved, and what has China's regional The inadvertent results of this rational actor to “objective” circumstances in the interna- ambitions and limited resources done to framework are judgments that are funda- tional environment are profoundly condi- reconstitute the meaning of that term?


This discussion of keywords suggests that we need a more subtle and expansive 1. The observations that follow draw in part on Jin notion of ideology—one that includes more Liangyong, “Jianguo yilai jindai Zhongwai guanxishi than the formal ideology that the party uti

yanjiu shuping” [A review of post-1949 research on the

history of modern Sino-foreign relations), Jindaishi lized as an organizational glue and mobili

yanjiu, 3(1985), 193-214; Wang Xi and Wang Bangxian, zation guide—if we are to move toward a “Woguo sanshiwu nianlai de ZhongMei guanxishi richer understanding of CCP external rela- yanjiu” [Research on the history of Sino-American tions. The network of ideas that make up an

relations in our country over the last thirty-five years),

Fudan xuebao 5 (1984), 73-76; Tao Wenzhao, informal ideology is a complex, unstable

“ZhongMei guanxishi yanjiu shinian huigu” [Looking amalgam drawn from a wide variety of back on a decade of research on the history of Sinosources and varying significantly from indi- American relations], in Xin de shiye: ZhongMei guanxishi vidual to individual. Some party leaders

lunwenji (New fields of vision: a collection of articles on

the history of Sino-American relations] (Nanjing: had experienced formative brushes with an

Nanjing daxue, 1991), 282-307; a fairly extensive readarchism. Others had reacted strongly against ing in party history periodicals; and conversations with disturbing urban conditions that made capi- Chinese colleagues working on the CCP's foreign relatalism the main foe. Yet others constructed


2. Yao Xu, “KangMei yuanChao de yingming juece” from their rural roots a populist outlook.

[The brilliant decision to resist America and aid Korea), Each borrowed from a rich, complex intel- Danghshi yanjiu 5 (1980), 5-14. A new generation of lectual tradition, drew from distinct regional scholarship heralded by Yao's work did greatly improve roots, and learned from diverse political

on earlier thin and domestically oriented accounts such

as Hu Zhongchi, KangMei yuanChao yundong shihua experience as youths. A more penetrating (An informal history of the resist-America aid-Korea

[ grasp of Chinese policy depends ultimately campaign) (Beijing: Zhonghua qingnian, 1956), which on exploring the enormous diversity of think- had its own, even more pronounced patriotic premises. ing that shaped its course.

3. These tendencies are evident in Ding Shouhe and Yin

Shuyi, Cong wusi qimeng yundong dao makesi zhuyi de The negotiation of these and other points chuanbo (From May Fourth enlightenment to the propa

[ of difference between historians and politi- gation of Marxism] (rev. ed.; Beijing: Sanlian, 1979), cal scientists will redefine the agenda for esp. 88-108; Lu Mingzhuo, “Li Dazhao zai wusi yundong CCP foreign-policy studies and in the pro

shiqi de fandi sixiang” [Li Dazhao's anti-imperialist

thought during the period of the May Fourth movecess help recast a field already in the midst

ment], in Jinian wusi yundong liushi zhounian xueshu of important change as a result of the revival

taolunhui lunwenxuan (A selection of articles from a of CCP studies in China. Historians taking scholarly conference in commemoration of the sixtieth a more prominent place in the field will be anniversary of the May Fourth movement], ed. Zhongguo advancing a new constellation of questions Zhongguo shehui kexue, 1980), 2: 151-63; and Zhu

shehui kexueyuan jindaishi yanjiusuo (Beijing:

) and methods. The response by political Jianhua and He Rongdi, “Shilun Li Dazhao de fandi scientists will doubtless vary with those of a sixiang” [An exploration of Li Dazhao's anti-imperialdescriptive bent finding it easy, while those

ist thought], in Li Dazhao yanjiu lunwenji [A collection

of research papers on Li Dazhao), ed. Han Yide and devoted to theory may well find the transi

Wang Shudi (2 vols.; Shijiazhuang: Hebei renmin, tion awkward. How much this interaction 1984), 2: 515-29. across disciplinary lines will lead to a new 4. Pei-yi Wu, The Confucian's Progress: Autobiographi

cal Writings in Traditional China (Princeton: Princeton mix of concerns and approaches and how

University Press, 1990), offers a suggestive introducmuch historians and political scientists will

tion to this genre. turn their back on each other, effectively 5. The earliest Chinese version appears to be Waiguo creating a schism in the field, remains to be jizhe xibei yinxiangji [A foreign reporter's impressions seen. Whatever the outcome outside of

of the northwest](Shanghai: Dingchou bianyishe, 1937).

A partial copy is in the Wang Fu Shih collection, China, party historians within China are for

University Archives, University of Missouri, Kansas their part likely to maintain a largely au- City. Hu Yuzhi translated one of the early versions, tonomous community interacting selectively perhaps this one. Snow’s account was also published with foreigner counterparts. Thus this trend

under the title Xixing manji [Notes on a journey to the

west) and Mao Zedong zizhuan (Mao Zedong's autobitoward a more historical picture of CCP

ography]). For details on the production of the autobiogexternal relations, at work in both the United

raphy, see Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi States and China, is not likely to lead to a and Xinhua tongxunshe, comps., Mao Zedong xinwen new monolithic field. And perhaps this

gongzuo wenxuan (A selection of Mao Zedong works on

journalism] (Beijing: Xinhua, 1983), 37-38; Wu Liping, outcome, marked by national and disciplin

comp., Mao Zedong yijiusanliunian tong Sinuo de tanhua ary diversity, is to be welcomed if it proves [Mao Zedong's 1936 talk with Snow](Beijing: Renmin, conducive to the wide-ranging inquiry and 1979), 1, 6-9; and Qiu Ke'an, Sinuo zai Zhongguo lively discussions associated with a field in

[Snow in China) (Beijing: Sanlian, 1982).

Appearing in 1937 along with the Snow account renaissance.

was the first, perhaps rudimentary collection of Mao's
essays. For evidence on the existence of such a collec-
tion, see Mao Zedong ji [Collected writings of Mao
Zedong], ed. Takeuchi Minoru (10 vols.; Tokyo:
Hokubosha, 1971-72; Hong Kong reprint, 1975), 5:
6. This and the paragraph that follows draw on Xu
Quanxing and Wei Shifeng, chief authors, Yanan shigi
de Mao Zedong zhexue sixiang yanjiu [Studies on Mao
Zedong's philosophical thought during the Yanan pe-
riod] (Xian: Shaanxi renmin jiaoyu, 1988), chap. 11
(written by Xu); and Thomas Kampen, “Wang Jiaxiang,
Mao Zedong and the 'Triumph of Mao Zedong-Thought
(1935-1945)," Modern Asian Studies 23 (October 1989),
7. Xiao San's Mao Zedong tongzhi de qingshaonian
shidai (Comrade Mao Zedong's boyhood and youth]
(originally published 1948; rev. and exp. ed.,
Guangzhou: Xinhua, 1950).
8. Zhang Min et al., “Sannian zhunbei' de diernian”
[The second year of the three years of preparation”),
Dangde wenxian 2 (1989), 79; Mao Zedong xuanji
[Selected works of Mao Zedong] (4 vols.; Beijing:
Renmin, 1952-60); Li Rui, Mao Zedong tongzhi de
chuqi geming huodong (Comrade Mao Zedong's initial
revolutionary activities] (Beijing: Zhongguo qingnian,
9. Quotes from Joint Publications Research Service,
Selections from Chairman Mao, no. 90 (JPRS no.
49826; 12 February 1970),66,80. For guidance through
the thicket of this Cultural Revolution material, see
Timothy Cheek, “Textually Speaking: An Assessment
of Newly Available Mao Texts,” in The Secret Speeches
of Chairman Mao: From the Hundred Flowers to the
Great Leap Forward, ed. Roderick MacFarquhar et al.
(Cambridge: Harvard University Council on East Asian
Studies, 1989), 78-81; and Cheek, “The 'Genius' Mao:
A Treasure Trove of 23 Newly Available Volumes of
Post-1949 Mao Zedong Texts,” Australian Journal of
Chinese Affairs, 19-20 (January-July 1988), 337-44.
10. Mao Zedong xuanji [Selected works of Mao Zedong],
vol. 5 (Beijing: Renmin, 1977); Mao Zedong zhuzuo
xuandu [A reader of works by Mao Zedong], comp.
Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian bianji weiyuanhui (2
vols.; Beijing: Renmin, 1986). More revealing than the
public “resolution on certain historical issues concern-
ing the party since the founding of the PRC” (“Guanyu
jianguo yilai dangde ruogan lishi wenti de jueyi”] is the
limited circulation treatment of sensitive issues raised
by this reappraisal, in Zhonggong zhongyang dangshi
yanjiushi “Zhonggong dangshi dashi nianbiao"
bianxiezu, Zhonggong dangshi dashi nianbiao shuoming
[Elucidation of “A chronology of major events in CCP
history”] (Beijing: Zhonggong zhongyang dangxiao,
1983; "internal circulation").
11. The comments that follow draw on Paul A. Cohen,
Discovering History in China: American Historical
Writing on the Recent Chinese Past (New York: Co-
lumbia University Press, 1984); William T. Rowe,
“Approaches to Modern Chinese Social History,” in
Reliving the Past: The Worlds of Social History, ed.
Olivier Zunz (Chapel Hill: University of North Caro-
lina Press, 1985), 236-96; my own “Meiguo guanyu
Zhongguo duiwai guanxishi yanjiu wenti yu qianjing”
[The study of the history of Chinese foreign relations in
the United States: problems and prospects), trans. Yuan
Ming, Lishi yanjiu [Historical studies] 3 (1988), 150-56
Philip C. C. Huang, “The Paradigmatic Crisis in Chi-
nese Studies: Paradoxes in Social and Economic His-
tory,Modern China 17 (July 1991), 299-341; and
Judith B. Farquhar and James L. Hevia, “Culture and

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