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Author Van de Ven, Hans J.

Title From friend to comrade : the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, 1920-1927 / Hans J. van de Ven
Published Berkeley : University of California Press, [1991]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xi, 373 pages) : illustrations
Contents Chinese communists and China's political crisis -- The founding of communist cells and the first congress -- Hesitant beginnings, 1921-1925 -- The CCP as mass party : tapping the power of the masses -- The party arises -- Conclusion
Summary Scholars have long held that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was a centralized, Leninist organization from its founding in 1921. In a departure from that view, From Friend to Comrade demonstrates how the CCP began as a group of study societies, only gradually evolving into a mass Marxist-Leninist party by 1927. Using party documents that have only recently become available, as well as the writings of a wide range of Chinese communists, Hans J. van de Ven analyzes the party's difficulty in building a cohesive organization firmly rooted in Chinese society. Van de Ven identifies four stages in the emergence of the CCP. The first, of 1920 and 1921, saw the formation of a range of Chinese communist organizations. The author points out the localized nature of these organizations, as well as their origins in the world of study societies and the continuing influence of traditional elite norms of political action. The second stage, from 1921 to 1923, demonstrates the nebulous distribution of authority in the early CCP, the inability of CCP leaders to bring all Chinese communists into the party, and the party's failure to establish durable mass organizations. From 1923 to 1925, in the face of a crisis for survival, Chinese communists for the first time began to refashion the CCP using Leninist organization concepts. However, van de Ven shows, it was only between 1925 and 1927 that the CCP became larger than life in the eyes of its own membership, with a party culture based on Marxism-Leninism. Only then had the CCP become a mass party, active throughout southern China and in all major urban centers. While past scholarship has emphasized the influence of the October Revolution and Soviet communism on the CCP, van de Ven stresses the thinking and actions of Chinese communists themselves, placing their struggle in the context of China's political history and highly complex society
Notes "Sponsored by the Center for Chinese Studies, University of California, Berkeley."
Originally presented as the author's thesis (Ph. D.--Harvard University)
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 319-349) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Zhongguo gong chan dang -- History.
China -- Politics and government -- 1912-1928.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
Author University of California, Berkeley. Center for Chinese Studies.
ISBN 0520910877 (electronic bk.)
0585108420 (electronic bk.)
9780520910874 (electronic bk.)
9780585108421 (electronic bk.)