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A critical introduction to Mao : [book review] Zhong, Xueping Jan 10, 2012

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747 Book Reviews out the possibly destructive effects tourism can have on local communities. Similar findings can be found in this book. Marina Sevensson’s study on the water town Wuzhen shows how local residents face strict control over their bodily movement imposed by the tourism company. Local religious spaces were re-created solely for tourist consumption, which were more like theme parks than living religious spaces. Charles McKhann’s study of the Dongba culture in Lijiang and Charlene Makley’s study of the Tibetan culture in the Ethnic Culture Park in Beijing show that the religious dances performed for tourist consumption are totally detached from the original religious content. As a result, some locals have developed a sense of guilt about using cultural traditions to make profits. When Lijiang was hit by an earthquake in 1996, rumours spread that the natural disaster was a divine punishment for promoting tourism on the sacred Jade Dragon Mountain. A more in-depth comparison of the differences between the “genuine” rituals the local people practice on religious occasions and those they perform for the tourist gaze would have helped to strengthen the arguments. Less successful is the sub-theme about so-called “red tourism.” Several articles include examples illustrating how the government has tried to promote revolutionary spirit and secularize pilgrimages by adding statues of revolutionary figures at tourist sites. Brian Dott’s study of Mount Tai shows that the government even planned to replace the statue of Jade Emperor on the mountain with that of Mao Zedong. The plan was not put into action and instead a statue of Lei Feng was erected at the train station. Yu Luo Rioux’s study on Jingangshan shows that, quite contrary to the officials’ expectation, Mao is worshipped by visitors as a deity there. These are interesting observations, but analysis on the dynamics between state, tourist and local community is essential to place these phenomena in perspective. This short review cannot do justice to the richness and breadth of this book. Although not all the themes are handled equally successfully, and the quality of the articles varies, Faiths on Display is a must-read for those who are interested in the way tourism has transformed the religious landscape and local politics in contemporary China. Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China SHUK-WAH POON A CRITICAL INTRODUCTION TO MAO. Edited by Timothy Cheek. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. xxi, 369 pp. (Maps, B&W photos.) US$27.99, paper. ISBN 978-0-521-71154-8. This book is an important addition to the existing writings in English on Mao Zedong, Mao’s thought, the Chinese Revolution, and the various debates about them. As a collection of essays by 14 scholars, more than half of whom Pacific Affairs: Volume 84, No. 4 – December 2011 748 are historians, this book distinguishes itself in terms of scope, approach and inclusion of varied views and positions. Its purpose, as Timothy Cheek, the editor, states, is to “provide the general reader an opportunity to make sense of Mao and his role in modern Chinese history and the ‘socialist moment’ in twentieth-century world history, as well as his continuing significance both in China and beyond,” and its theme being that “there are multiple Maos, and to settle on one dominant image is to distort the whole” (4). Structurally, the book is divided into two parts, part 1, “Mao’s World” and part 2 , “Mao’s Legacy.” Part 1 has nine chapters, with chapter 1 serving as the introduction to the entire book. Chapters 2 to 4 are organized chronologically from Mao’s early life to the mid 1950s. The other five chapters are issue oriented, focusing on “fragments of Mao Zedong” (chapter 5), “Mao and his followers” (chapter 6), “Mao and communist intellectuals” (chapter 7), “gendered Mao” (chapter 8), and “Mao the man and Mao the icon” (chapter 9). Part 2 includes chapters 10 to 14 that explore Mao’s legacy, ranging from contemporary China since the start of the economic reform in the late 1970s, to the spread of Maoism in the “Third World,” and its reception in the West. With each author working on different aspects of Mao-related history and debates, this volume not only offers a collection of varied focuses, perspectives and arguments, it also provides a rich source of bibliographic materials. As the editor emphasizes, the book is intended for a general readership (in English). To that end, Cheek’s introduction is perhaps deliberately eclectic, allowing individual chapters to debate with one another, even if only indirectly. It is to the editor’s credit that against climate he includes the chapters in which the authors recognize the historical complexity of “Mao’s world” and examine his role as a modern revolutionary in conjunction with the historical significance of the Chinese Revolution. Along this line, some chapters are worth highlighting. Chapter 2, appropriately titled “Making Revolution in Twentieth- Century China,” offers a rather sound account of the historical condition of late Qing to the 1920s in which Mao was born and grew into a Marxist revolutionary. Even though Joseph Esherick relies mainly on the existing scholarship in English, his analysis of Mao’s journey into a Chinese Marxist revolutionary recognizes “the central premise of China’s twentieth-century revolutionary movement: The national revolution for liberation from foreign imperialism should be combined with a radical reorganization of Chinese society” (60). In a similar move, Brantly Womack, in the next chapter on Mao from the 1920s to 1937, traces Mao’s path from an “urban radical” to a “rural revolutionary” with an emphasis on Mao’s “intellectual development” and the “learning process of the first half of his life [that] provided the foundation for his successful leadership of the Chinese Revolution” (86). While chapter 5, “consuming fragments of Mao Zedong,” in its postmodern playfulness leaves behind a strong impression of a caricatured political 749 Book Reviews discourse, Hung-Yok Ip, in chapter 7, echoing the historical sentiments found in the two aforementioned chapters, offers a relatively rare look into the question as to why many modern intellectuals devoted their lives to a cause the way they did, arguing that “despite his conflicts with many communist intellectuals, Mao shared with them similar concerns and ideals” (169). While the key term “anti-elitist elitism” deployed throughout the chapter can at times feel somewhat overused, Ip nevertheless grounds her discussion within the historical context of the Chinese Revolution, which attracted generations of “communist intellectuals” and fellow travellers. When it comes to debating Mao’s legacy, the prevailing tendency since the post-Mao era has been ad hominem attacks that essentially delink Mao from the historical significance of the Chinese Revolution. Most essays in part 2 argue for moving beyond that. Questioning the essentializing of Mao in an “Orientalist fashion” in many existing views of Mao as “emperor,” Geremie Barmé, in chapter 10, argues that “by laying too much emphasis on the weight of tradition and presumed cultural inertia, the revolutionary character of much that Mao and his cohort pursued is too easily overlooked and discounted” (247). Echoing this sentiment, chapter 13 offers a concise but fairly comprehensive look at the ways in which Mao and Maoism have been received in the West. Framing the different tellings of the Mao stories within the ideological clash between Western liberal tradition (represented by Woodrow Wilson) and proletarian revolution (represented by Lenin), Charles Hayford is able to highlight the changes and contradictions within the West in response to Mao and the Chinese Revolution. Chapter 12 expands the relationship between Mao and revolution into the “Third World” by focusing on the “three Maoist worlds”—Khmer Rouge, Shining Path and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)—and exploring why the first two have failed while the third appears not to have. “Maoism,” according to Alexander Cook, is interpreted differently when it is transmitted to different social and historical contexts. In the last chapter, two authors, Jiang Yihua and Roderick MacFarquhar writing separately, return to the relationship between Mao and the Chinese Revolution and both argue that without Mao and the Chinese Revolution, China would not have developed into a modern nation-state, which would eventually develop into an economic “miracle.” They differ slightly in that MacFarquhar insists that Mao failed in his ideology of continuous revolution without which “the Chinese miracle might have begun 30 years earlier” (352). Scholars, of course, will continue to debate on the validity of this argument as they continue to make sense of Mao’s legacy in relation to the historical importance and significance of the Chinese Revolution. To understand Mao within the larger context of the Chinese Revolution, readers of this book can be further helped by reading recent publications on Mao and the Chinese Revolution including Was Mao a Monster?, Rethinking Pacific Affairs: Volume 84, No. 4 – December 2011 750 Mao, Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World, The Transformation of Chinese Socialism, and The End of Revolution. Tufts University, Medford, USA XUEPING ZHONG PATRON-CLIENT POLITICS AND ELECTIONS IN HONG KONG. Routledge Contemporary China Series, 46. By Bruce Kam-kwan Kwong. London and New York: Routledge, 2010. xv, 156 pp. (Tables, figures.) US$135.00, cloth. ISBN 978-0-415-55142-7. This book uses “patron-client relations” as the central concept to describe post-1997 politics in Hong Kong. The book is written in seven chapters. The first two chapters provide a conceptual and theoretical review of patron-client politics. Defined as a reciprocal relationship between patrons and clients, the offering of goods, services and benefits is seen as the key relationship between voters and candidates, and thus permeates different levels of elections. In the Hong Kong context, these are augmented by the importance of guanxi and renching in Chinese societies. The analytical framework of patron-client politics contains six factors, including: (1) mass political culture, (2) elite political structure, (3) the size of constituencies, (4) party competition, (5) Taiwan-style campaign strategies and (6) electoral law. In chapter 3, the author discusses various forms of public benefits that are common in Hong Kong politics, including appointment, co-optation, awards and granting of (business) contracts. The chapter also discusses how these benefits were played out in Hong Kong politics as the basis of patron- client relations. Chapter 4 discusses the role played by patron-client relations in past chief executive elections. The main thrust was a survey of Election Committee (EC) members in the 2002 chief executive election, which showed that many EC members expected that in supporting Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa, Tung should later solve the problems of the sectors that they represented. Chapter 5 claims that patron-client relations played a certain role in Legislative Council elections, as testified by the subjective evaluations of legislative councillors. The support of local networks, local constituency services and good personal relations with constituents are all seen as vital for electoral success. Chapter 6 points to patron-client relations in local-level politics, including District Council elections and rural politics as represented by the Heung Yee Kuk. It tries to show how benefits are dispensed at local elections and through the Heung Yee Kuk structure. In the concluding chapter, the author argues that patron-client relations are indispensable to all levels of elections in Hong Kong, a situation which, if it deepens, can lead to political decay.


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