China Book Report
Book: China Since 1945
Author: Stewart Ross
(Note: This book is not described in full depth and detail but is just explained in a very general way, therefore Mahmoud Abdelkader uses The Modernization of China by Gilbert Rozman (Editor) excerpts to support his views)
Type of Book: Illustrated
China Book Report
The book China Since 1945, written by author Stewart Ross, opens in a description of the Chinese Empire in the 1900s. There it describes the terrain of the Chinese lands and thoroughly states the fact of having the Great Wall of China to keep out the barbarians at 221 B.C. The author uses a very admiring tone of the Chinese Empire and seems to think its one of the very few best empires that have ever formed. In fact, Rozman states, the cultural and scientific achievements of the Chinese had been immense, including the invention of paper, printing and gunpowder, and the creation of the most exquisite paintings and by most Empire Critics China was one of the best Civilizations around.
The author starts the book by Revolution and disintegration incident that happened in 1911, where the British and Japanese fought over control of China. Chinese prisoners were being led away for execution during the revolution where they would be beheaded with swords, which the author states is very popular. It mentions the presidency of Sun Yatsen and his reforms which he could not control that he made himself in 1912. Around this time, warlords took over China controlling it and ruining its economy. The author moves on to war that involved China and its neighbors. It describes the Communist Revolution and Mao Zedong, an the Autumn Harvest. The author then relates to Maos victory in 1945-1949 and the Japanese forces pulling out.
The authors view toward Chinese views is very critical and then goes to analysis of the book, but supports China. In fact, the way that this was looked upon, is that this is actually a bunch of essays that were put together by the author thats why his mood changes. The only way of finding out what the author really thinks is the way of his introduction. The author, actually, does support China and doesnt take a prejudice side to it. Rozman says, Although critics sometimes critique China and its imperialistic ways, I find it most innovating that China is superior in many of its way and its technologies that keep us alive today are immense and should be recognized as an act of a strong economic nation, not as a communist death hole. He completely wants the reader to understand that he has no offense on China, but China has an effect on itself from many other critics. Stewart Ross on the other hand, uses China in a horrible sense or criticism. He critiques China after 1945 in almost anyway he can. His tone doesnt sound biased, but after the first 10 pages, the book starts taking a negative effect towards China. He starts the book as if it is the most intriguing country in the world, but soon it his enthusiasm descends to a lower degree. The conclusion that the reader would be able to see is that the actual author isnt biased about China but about Communism, since it affected China in every way after 1945.
The writing of the book looks as if it is directed to any American who is interested in Chinas modern history. The book is written by an American author who directs his views to another American. He directs China from Chinese eyes. He doesnt exactly point it out that there is conflict and doesnt show any biased thoughts or actions. He simply just states facts and doesnt try to criticize it through Chinese eyes, but directs his views as if his research team was the one that was having trouble figuring something out. This may be unclear but Ill state an example. The team didnt know how many millions of people died in the Land Reform, but were pretty sure its around 35%. It is explained that the cruelty of the Chinese during land reforms are extremely harsh, for the landlords were taken from their lands, leaving the warlords to take the peons and control the economy. Not 35% died, but about 20% did, by the Grolier Encyclopedia (2000). The author extremely exaggerated the number too highly to show cruelty but obviously and neutral or un-biased person will bluntly state the real fact, so that leaves us with one thing, the author obviously is biased.
The authors work on this book is extremely beneficial and has a lot of effort in it. He completely parallels himself to the study of China going on in Dulaney. He starts with the Tang Dynasty to the Manchu Dynasty. He tells us that the Manchus were the highest point in the history of its great landmass. The books theme is that China has changed after 1945 and it will never return to its original ways. Indeed, the Chinese Empire fell within the Communist rise of Mao Zedong and it will never re-establish. In class, the study of China after 1945 parallels directly with the books theme and it shows that this major move of Communism has changed the world. The United States was quite shocked and developed a kind of hatred for the Chinese, but would not show it. The unit next that will be studied is how the United States was so shocked when Mao Zedong declared the Peoples Republic of China and reacted in a very immature way.
The theme also parallels to the Chinese as a once superior race to the disgrace of turning into Communists. It shows the decline and fall of the Empire and many of its disadvantages and advantages. Ross describes the Chinese as a race once full of nothing but resources and was heavily dependent on to almost how is it to acquire the pure hatred that we have for Russians to the Chinese.
In other words, this book was overall good but it would have been better to compare a book of un-biased views to this book. The author hides his biased views very good, but using many simple techniques and other sources, it was obvious that hes biased. The book gives no accurate description of Chinas past, but it does give a clear overview. After that, Ross starts to take sides with Communism. The book is written all about a negative view of Communism and maybe thats why he has a biased overview. The other book, The Modernization of China by Rozman is extremely useful to compare a biased view to a neutral view. It points out much other information that the Ross left out. Overall, I though both books were great and I have learned a lot.