Cover image for Political leaders of modern China : a biographical dictionary
Political leaders of modern China : a biographical dictionary
Leung, Pak-Wah, 1950-
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. ; London : Greenwood Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
xviii, 278 pages ; 26 cm
Added Author:
Format :


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DS755.3 .P64 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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Through the individual characteristics of China's political leaders, a nation-building process began. Chinese leaders fell into two categories of reformers: conservative and liberal. Conservative reformers saw a corruption of the moral order of society that needed to be eliminated in order to restore the country's moral integrity, while liberal reformers attempted to embrace the flaws and lead China toward Socialism. One hundred Chinese leaders--from the Opium War to 2001--are profiled in this comprehensive biographical dictionary.

This book provides the most up-to-date coverage of modern Chinese political leadership during the Imperial, Republican, and Communist periods. Political leaders throughout each period had a common desire for reform within the country while maintaining China's political and cultural legacy. Leung invokes the uniqueness of those leaders in their struggle for personal gain and national improvement as they fought to preserve traditional values. Written by 30 international scholars and experts in the field using both Western and Chinese sources, this is the most authoritative dictionary on the subject.

Author Notes

EDWIN PAK-WAH LEUNG is Professor of Asian Studies and Director of the Asian Studies Graduate Program at Seton Hall University. He has published over ten books, including Historical Dictionary of Revolutionary China, 1839-1976 (Greenwood, 1992) and Historical Dictionary of the Chinese Civil War (2001).

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Covering leaders from the period of the Opium Wars (1839^-1842) to the beginning of the twenty-first century--the late Imperial, Republican, and Communist eras--this volume is a very useful reference for anyone studying modern Chinese history. Some 30 scholars contributed the 100 entries, which are one to four pages in length and provide the reader with basic background information along with detailed accounts of the individuals' political careers. Only a handful of leaders, such as Mao Zedong, Puyi, and Zhou Enlai, will be familiar to general readers and are easy to find in other standard reference sources. The names are given in pinyin in Chinese name order, though other well-known transliterations of names (such as Chiang Kai-shek for Jiang Jieshi) are noted. A glossary provides the Chinese characters for the names. A useful 28-page chronology and a list of leaders sorted by period are also appended. Each entry includes a list of references, many of which are in Chinese. English-language works are listed in the general bibliography. Though most of those who are profiled had an official government role, there are entries for individuals who influenced politics in other ways. Examples include Chen Baochen, tutor to Puyi, and Yan Xishan, a Republican-era warlord, among others. Some local leaders are also here. Many readers of Chinese history find that the array of unfamiliar names can be daunting. For those readers, this dictionary should be a welcome tool. Recommended for large public and academic libraries, the volume complements two other reference sources by the same editor, Historical Dictionary of Revolutionary China, 1839^-1976 (Greenwood, 1992) and Historical Dictionary of the Chinese Civil War (Scarecrow, 2003).

Choice Review

Modern China has experienced dramatic political changes. This biographical dictionary covers the Imperial, Republican, and Communist periods, presenting the political leaders who played important roles in these changes from the Opium War to the beginning of the 21st century. Each entry offers a brief biography followed by a comprehensive essay describing the subject's political life. The book provides a general bibliography, cross-references printed in boldface, and a time line, November 1839-November 2001. The most authoritative and up-to-date text on this topic. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General and academic readers. J. Cheng Southern Connecticut State University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Abbreviationsp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Political Leaders of Modern Chinap. 1
Appendix 1 Chronologyp. 225
Appendix 2 Modern Chinese Political Leadersp. 253
Glossaryp. 257
Bibliographyp. 263
Indexp. 269
About the Contributorsp. 277
About the Editorp. 279