The Chinese revolution of 1949 was one of the most important experiences in the history of twentieth-century national liberation movements. It triggered wide-ranging debates among, and often inside, revolutionary currents around the world. The Chinese regime's turn towards the market since the death of Mao Zedong make it all the more important to understand the revolution's distinctive origins and strange destiny. The first part of Pierre Rousset's study deals with the 1920s: the second Chinese revolution of 1925-27, its lessons, the evolution of the Communist movement, the emergence of Maoism and the beginning of the antagonism that developed between the Chinese CP leadership under Mao and the Soviet leadership under Stalin. Rousset invites readers to join in collective reflection on the historical constraints that revolutions face and the means of coping with them.
Pierre Rousset was born in 1946. He has been active on the French left since the 1960s and participated in many solidarity campaigns with national liberation struggles, particularly with Indochina and other Southeast Asian countries. He has produced several studies on Vietnam, in-cluding two books, Le Parti communiste vietnamien (1975) and Nationalisme et Communisme au Vietnam (1978), and the essay The Peculiarities of Vietnamese Communism in The Stalinist Legacy (1984). He has travelled extensively in East Asia and regularly contributes articles on the region to several periodicals. He is an IIRE Fellow and former director.