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Zhou Enlai: The Last Perfect Revolutionary

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Zhou Enlai, the premier of the People's Republic of China from 1949 until his death in 1976, is the last Communist political leader to be revered by the Chinese people. He is considered "a modern saint" who offered protection to his people during the Cultural Revolution; an admirable figure in an otherwise traumatic and bloody era. Works about Zhou in China are heavily censored, and every hint of criticism is removed -- so when Gao Wenqian first published this groundbreaking, provocative biography in Hong Kong, it was immediately banned in the People's Republic.

Using classified documents spirited out of China, Gao Wenqian offers an objective human portrait of the real Zhou, a man who lived his life at the heart of Chinese politics for fifty years, who survived both the Long March and the Cultural Revolution not thanks to ideological or personal purity, but because he was artful, crafty, and politically supple. He may have had the looks of a matinee idol, and Nixon may have called him "the greatest statesman of our era," but Zhou's greatest gift was to survive, at almost any price, thanks to his acute understanding of where political power resided at any one time.

ISBN-13: 9781586486457

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Publication Date: 07-22-2008

Pages: 368

Product Dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Gao Wenqian is the former official biographer of Zhou Enlai at the Chinese Communist Party Central Research Office for Documentation and director of the Zhou Enlai Research Group. He lives in Queens, New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction   Andrew J. Nathan     ix
The Kiss of Death     1
The Making of a Revolutionary     21
A Young Communist in Europe     39
Building the Infrastructure of Revolution     49
Birds of a Different Feather     63
A Rising Star     75
Trapping the "Chinese Khrushchev"     89
"Preparing to Take the Test"     105
"A Man of Both Sides"     131
A Whirlpool of Absurdity     149
No Exit     165
Heir Pre-emptive     183
Night Flight     201
Whither China's Future?     229
Long Knives     237
From Duet to Duel     249
Sick-Bed Politics     263
The Final Battle     275
Epilogue: More Power in Death than Life     305
Author's Note     311
Translators' Note     316
Acknowledgments     318
List of Sources     319
Index     331