Skip to content

Red China's Green Revolution: Technological Innovation, Institutional Change, and Economic Development Under the Commune, Paperback by Eisenman, Joshua (Used)

Sold Out

Used: Good

Publication Date: 2018-04-24
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Paperback : 472 pages
Author: Eisenman, Joshua
ISBN-10: 0231186673
ISBN-13: 9780231186674

Product Description China’s dismantling of the Mao-era rural commune system and return to individual household farming under Deng Xiaoping has been seen as a successful turn away from a misguided social experiment and a rejection of the disastrous policies that produced widespread famine. In this revisionist study, Joshua Eisenman marshals previously inaccessible data to overturn this narrative, showing that the commune modernized agriculture, increased productivity, and spurred an agricultural green revolution that laid the foundation for China’s future rapid growth. Red China’s Green Revolution tells the story of the commune’s origins, evolution, and downfall, demonstrating its role in China’s economic ascendance. After 1970, the commune emerged as a hybrid institution, including both collective and private elements, with a high degree of local control over economic decision but almost no say over political ones. It had an integrated agricultural research and extension system that promoted agricultural modernization and collectively owned local enterprises and small factories that spread rural industrialization. The commune transmitted Mao’s collectivist ideology and enforced collective isolation so it could overwork and underpay its households. Eisenman argues that the commune was eliminated not because it was unproductive, but because it was politically undesirable: it was the post-Mao leadership led by Deng Xiaoping―not rural residents―who chose to abandon the commune in order to consolidate their control over China. Based on detailed and systematic national, provincial, and county-level data, as well as interviews with agricultural experts and former commune members, Red China’s Green Revolution is a comprehensive historical and social scientific analysis that fundamentally challenges our understanding of recent Chinese economic history. Review In this thought-provoking volume, Eisenman offers a unique analysis of China's most important local institution in Mao's time: the people's commune. ― Choice Mr. Eisenman calls for readers to look anew at one of the darker periods of human history. It's a worthy intellectual exercise and a useful check on lazy approaches to China's modern history. ― Wall Street Journal Joshua Eisenman brings a refreshing perspective to the field because his book challenges the mainstream evaluation – both inside and outside China – of the era of Mao Zedong. -- Mobo Gao ― China Information The book is well researched, drawing on careful readings of government documents, newspapers and other materials from the period. -- Li Zhang ― Journal of Asian Studies Incredibly well-researched . . . Red China’s Green Revolution is a fascinating book. -- Fabio Lanza ― Asia Maior This book is unquestionably well-researched. -- Brian DeMare ― Journal of Chinese History Exceptionally written. -- John A. Donaldson ― Journal of Chinese Political Science Red China’s Green Revolution is a great book. It develops an innovative and contrarian interpretation of China’s rural communes, describing a technological revolution that occurred in China’s countryside in the 1970s. What makes this book truly outstanding is that Eisenman provides new perspectives on the importance of commune organization and incentive structures, as well as a reassessment of what Maoism meant in the lives of ordinary rural people. One after another, he drags into the sunshine topics that have been overshadowed in recent years by over-simplification and myth-making. The book concludes with a compelling new narrative of elite politics in the late 1970s that explains why the commune was ultimately abolished. -- Barry Naughton, Sokwanlok Chair of Chinese International Affairs, University of California, San Diego This is a truly important book. Eisenman shows how the People’s Communes created contemporary China, both through what they built and through what they destroyed. His work is of enormous significance for anyone trying to unders

Books >> Subjects >> Business & Money >> Economics >> Economic History