China: reading guide

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Libcom.org's reading guide on China, China's history and the working class movement in the region.

A few sources in Chinese and other languages are listed at the bottom; the others are mainly limited to English. In the interest of space, we are not including articles, except the list of recommended articles on Libcom. Some books appear in more than one list.

1. Recommended blogs & articles on Libcom.org
2. Top books
3. Other websites (English & Chinese)
4. Documentary films
5. Fictional films
6. Books on modern Chinese history
7. Books on workers
8. Books on women
9. Books on rural China
10. Oral histories & memoirs
11. Fictional writing
12. Miscellaneous books

1. Recommended blogs & articles on Libcom

Nào (闹)
Blog about class struggle in China
* The poetry and brief life of a Foxconn worker: Xu Lizhi (1990-2014)
* Twenty-five years since the Tiananmen protests: Legacies of the student-worker divide
* The new strikes in China
* New foundations for struggle and solidarity: The culmination of development and privatization on a Guangzhou Island
* Black vs. Yellow: Class Antagonism and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement
* The student parliament: reflections on the Sunflower movement
* Four Years Later, Still a Graveyard of Chinese Youth

Chuǎng (闯) Journal #1: Dead Generations
* Sorghum & Steel: The Socialist Developmental Regime and the Forging of China
* Gleaning the Welfare Fields: Rural Struggles in China since 1959
* Revisiting the Wukan Uprising of 2011: An Interview with Zhuang Liehong
* No Way Forward, No Way Back: China in the Era of Riots
* The Future is Hidden within These Realities: Selected Translations from Factory Stories

Chuǎng (闯) Blog
History, capitalism and class struggle in China and its neighbors
* Working for Amazon in China, where the global giant is a dwarf
* Notes on a Factory Uprising in Yangon
* Aunties learning to fight: The 2015 Uniqlo strike in historical context
* Aristocratisation alongside enslavement: Railway restructuring & workers’ resistance in China since the 1980s
* Below the Winds: What Do the Island Disputes Really Mean to Vietnamese & Chinese Workers?
* Scenarios of the Coming Crisis: A Response to Aufheben’s “The Crisis: Afterword"
* Bicycle couriers in China’s own “logistics revolution”
* Women’s Day & the Feminist Five a year on
* Overcoming mythologies: An interview on the Chuang project
* The Guangdong Six and the rule of law (of value): Theses on the December 3 crackdown
* Comparing port strikes: Hong Kong vs. Shenzhen, 2013
* Should wives be shared or rationed?
* The capitalist transformation of rural China: Evidence from “Agrarian Change in Contemporary China”

Gongchao (工潮)
* Against the fetish of representation: class struggle in China beyond the leftist Grand Narrative
* 'I work beside my shit. I eat beside my shit': impressions from the dockworkers strike in Hong Kong
* Left dead-end street vs. destructive critique: China's counterinsurgency policies and how to respond
* 'We are no machines': workers' struggle in a Chinese electronics factory in Poland

Prol-Position / Wildcat
* China in crisis: reason to panic?
* Women Workers in China, 1949-2007
* China's migrant workers
* The generation of unhappy workers, 2007

Empire Logistics
"a collaborative initiative to research and articulate the infrastructure and ‘externalized costs'—human, economic, social and environmental—of the international goods movement industry..."
* Port trucker strike Ningbo, China

Spartacus Blog
"Monthly round-ups of news about the class struggle in East Asia."

Yiching Wu
* Cultural revolution at the margins: Chinese socialism in crisis
* Rethinking ‘Capitalist Restoration’ in China

Husunzi
* A Commune in Sichuan? Reflections on Endicott’s Red Earth
* The Battle for East Lake in Wuhan
* Homicide as a weapon of the weak in postsocialist China
* Notes on Class Struggle and Democracy in Hong Kong

Lance Carter
* Auto Industry Strikes in China
* A Chinese Alternative? Interpreting the Chinese New Left Politically

Ultra
* Swoosh
* Confusing History with Spectacle: A Critique of Bloom and Contend

Mouvement Communiste & KPK
* Workers' autonomy strikes in China

Aufheben
* Welcome to the Chinese Century?
* Class conflicts in the transformation of China

Eli Friedman
* China in Revolt

George Katsiaficas
* China's 1989 in a World of Uprisings

Tang Shui’en
* The Alternative Education of a Chinese Punk

Wang Shaoguang
* “New trends of thought” in the Cultural Revolution

Cajo Brendel
* Theses on the Chinese revolution

Peter Zarrow
* He Zhen and anarcha-feminism in China

Arif Dirlik
* Dimensions of Chinese Anarchism: An Interview

2. Most-recommended books about modern China in general
Top 5 - must-read
* Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After: A History of the People’s Republic, Third Edition. (New York: The Free Press, 1999) - on Libcom here.
* Sheehan, Jackie. Chinese Workers: A New History. (London: Routledge, 1998) - on Libcom here.
* Wu, Yiching. The Cultural Revolution at the Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis. (Harvard University Press, 2014) - on Libcom here.
* Day, Alexander. The Peasant in Postsocialist China: History, Politics and Capitalism. (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
* Hershatter, Gail. Women in China’s Long Twentieth Century. (University of California Press, 2007)

Other top books in alphabetical order
* Anagnost, Ann. National Past-Times: Narrative, Representation, and Power in Modern China. (Duke University Press, 1997)
* Barlow, Tani. The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism. (Duke University Press, 2004)
* Dirlik, Arif. Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution. (University of California Press, 1991) - on Libcom here.
* Friedman, Eli. The Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Postsocialist China. (Cornell University Press, 2014)
* Gates, Hill. China's Motor: A Thousand Years of Petty Capitalism. (Cornell University Press, 1996)
* Hinton, William. Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village. (University of California Press, 1966)
* Hsing, You-tien. The Great Urban Transformation: Politics of Land and Property in China. (Oxford University Press, 2012)
* Hung, Ho-fung. China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009)
* Lee, Ching Kwan. Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt. (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2007)
* Pun, Ngai. Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005)
* Rofel, Lisa. Other Modernities: Gendered Yearnings in China after Socialism. (UC Press, 1999)
* Zheng Tiantian. Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China (UMN Press, 2009)

3. Other recommended websites about China
With English content
Chuǎng (闯)
Gongchao (工潮)
China Study Group
China Labour Bulletin
LabourStart - China
China Dialogue
China Digital Times
Shanghaiist
Globalization Monitor
Asia Monitor Resource Center
SACOM
Engage Media

4. Documentary Films
* 24 City (2008)
* Beijing Besieged by Waste (2011)
* China Blue (2005)
* Demolition (2008)
* Disorder (2009)
* Gate of Heavenly Peace (1995)
* Ghost Town (2008)
* Last Train Home (2009)
* Meishi Street (2006)
* Out of Phoenix Bridge (1997)
* The Passion of the Mao (2006)
* Queer China, 'Comrade' China (2008)
* San Yuan Li (2003)
* Street Life (2006)
* West of the Tracks (2003)
* Women at the Wheel (2006)
* ?????? (1999)

5. Fictional films
* A Touch of Sin (2013)
* Beijing Bicycle (2001)
* Blind Shaft (2003)
* In the Heat of the Sun (1994)
* Platform (2000)
* Shower (1999)
* Still Life (2006)
* Unknown Pleasures (2002)
* The World (2004)
* ????? (2008)
* ????? (2014)

6. Recommended books on modern Chinese history in general
* Anagnost, Ann. National Past-Times: Narrative, Representation, and Power in Modern China. (Duke University Press, 1997)
* Andreas, Joel. Rise of the Red Engineers: The Cultural Revolution and the Origins of China's New Class. (Stanford University Press, 2009)
* Barlow, Tani. The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism. (Duke University Press, 2004)
* Day, Alexander. The Peasant in Postsocialist China: History, Politics and Capitalism. (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
* Dirlik, Arif. The Origins of Chinese Communism, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989)
* Dirlik, Arif. Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution. (University of California Press, 1991) - on Libcom here.
* Dirlik, Arif and Ming Chan. Schools into Fields and Factories: Anarchists, the Guomindang, and the National Labor University in Shanghai, 1927-1932 (Duke University Press, 1991)
* Gates, Hill. China's Motor: A Thousand Years of Petty Capitalism. (Cornell University Press, 1996)
* Hart-Landsberg, Martin and Paul Burkett. China and Socialism: Market Reforms and Class Struggle. (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010)
* Hung, Ho-fung. China and the Transformation of Global Capitalism. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009)
* Isaacs, Harold R. The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution (1938, online here)
* Meisner, Maurice. Mao’s China and After: A History of the People’s Republic, Third Edition. (New York: The Free Press, 1999)
* Li Minqi. The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World-Economy. (Pluto Pres, 2008)
* Lin Chun. The Transformation of Chinese Socialism. (Duke University Press, 2006)
* Perry, Elizabeth. Shanghai on Strike Shanghai on Strike: The Politics of Chinese Labor (Stanford University Press, 1993)
* Perry, Elizabeth and Li Xun. Proletarian Power: Shanghai In The Cultural Revolution. (Boulder: Westview Press, 1997)
* Wang Chaohua, ed. One China, Many Paths. (Verso, 2003)
* Wang Hui. China's New Order. China's New Order: Society, Politics, and Economy in Transition. (Harvard University Press, 2003)
* Wang Hui. The End of Revolution: China and the Limits of Modernity (Verso, 2010)
* Weil, Robert. Red Cat, White Cat: China and the Contradictions of Market Socialism (Monthly Review Press, 1996)
* Wu, Yiching. The Cultural Revolution at the Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis. (Harvard University Press, 2014) - on Libcom here.
* Zarrow, Peter. Anarchism and Chinese Political Culture (Columbia University Press, 1990)
* Zhao Dingxin. The Power of Tiananmen: State-Society Relations and the 1989 Beijing Student Movement (University of Chicago Press, 2001)

7. Recommended books on Chinese Workers
* China, Anita, ed. China's Workers Under Assault: The Exploitation of Labor in a Globalizing Economy (M.E. Sharpe, 2001)
* Chan, Chris King-chi. The Challenge of Labour in China: Strikes and the Changing Labour Regime in Global Factories. (2010)
* Friedman, Eli. The Insurgency Trap: Labor Politics in Postsocialist China. (Cornell University Press, 2014)
* Lee, Ching Kwan. Gender and the South China Miracle: Two Worlds of Factory Women. (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1998)
* Lee, Ching Kwan. Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt. (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2007)
* Lee, Ching Kwan, ed. Working in China: Ethnographies of Labor and Workplace Transformation. (London: Routledge, 2006)
* Liu Jieyu. Gender and Work in Urban China. Women workers of the unlucky generation. (Taylor & Francis, 2007)
* Lü Xiaobo and Elizabeth Perry, eds. Danwei: The Changing Chinese Workplace in Historical and Comparative Perspectives (M.E. Sharpe, 1997)
* Perry, Elizabeth. Shanghai on Strike Shanghai on Strike: The Politics of Chinese Labor (Stanford University Press, 1993)
* Philion, Stephen E. Workers’ Democracy in China’s Transition from State Socialism. (New York: Taylor & Francis, 2008)
* Pun, Ngai. Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005)
* Rofel, Lisa. Other Modernities: Gendered Yearnings in China after Socialism. (UC Press, 1999)
* Sheehan, Jackie. Chinese Workers: A New History. (London: Routledge, 1998) - on Libcom here.
* Solinger, Dorothy. Contesting Citizenship in Urban China: Peasant Migrants, the State, and the Logic of the Market. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999)
* Yan, Hairong. New Masters, New Servants: Migration, Development, and Women Workers in China. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008)
* Zheng Tiantian. Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China (UMN Press, 2009)

8. Recommended books on women in China
* Barlow, Tani E. The Question of Woman in Chinese Feminism. (Duke University Press, 2004)
* Brownwell, Su­san and Jeffrey Wasserstrom, eds. Chinese Femininities, Chinese Masculinities: A Reader (University of California Press, 2002)
* Dai Jinhua. Cinema and Desire: Feminist Marxism and Cultural Politics in the Work of Dai Jinhua, eds. Jing Wang and Tani E. Barlow (Verso, 2002)
* Gilmartin, Christina Kelley. Engendering the Chinese Revolution: Radical Women, Communist Politics, and Mass Movements in the 1920s. (University of California Press, 1995)
* Gilmartin, Christina, Gail Hershatter, Lisa Rofel and Tyrene White. Engendering China: Women, Culture, and the State. (Harvard University Press, 1994)
* Hershatter, Gail. Women in China’s Long Twentieth Century. (University of California Press, 2007)
* Hershatter, Gail. The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China’s Collective Past. (University of California Press, 2011)
* Honig, Emily and Gail Hershatter. Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980s. (Stanford University Press, 1988)
* Liu Jieyu. Gender and Work in Urban China. Women workers of the unlucky generation. (Taylor & Francis, 2007)1
* Liu, Lydia H., Rebecca E. Karl, and Dorothy Ko. The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory. (Columbia University Press, 2013)
* Pun, Ngai. Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005)
* Rofel, Lisa. Other Modernities: Gendered Yearnings in China after Socialism. (UC Press, 1999)
* Yan, Hairong. New Masters, New Servants: Migration, Development, and Women Workers in China. (Duke University Press, 2008)
* Xinran. The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices (Anchor, 2003)
* Zheng Tiantian. Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China (UMN Press, 2009)

9. Recommended books on rural China
* Bramall, Chris. The Industrialization of Rural China. (Oxford University Press, 2007)
* Cao, Jinqing. China along the Yellow River: Reflections on Rural Society. Translated by Nicky Harman and Huang Ruhua. (RoutledgeCurzon, 2005)
* Chan, Anita, Richard Madsen and Jonathan Unger. Chen Village: Revolution to Globalization (University of California Press, 2009)
* Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao. Will the Boat Sink the Water?: The Life of China's Peasants. (HarperCollins, 2007)
* Day, Alexander F. The Peasant in Postsocialist China: History, Politics, and Capitalism. (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
* Endicott, Stephen. Red Earth: Revolution in a Sichuan Village. (New Amsterdam Books, 1991)2
* Gao, Mobo C. F. Gao Village: A Portrait of Rural Life in Modern China. (University of Hawai’i Press, 1999)
* Hale, Matthew A. Reconstructing the Rural: Peasant Organization in a Chinese Movement for Alternative Development. (University of Washington, 2013)
* Han, Dongping. The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village. (Monthly Review Press, 2008)
* Hershatter, Gail. The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China’s Collective Past. (University of California Press, 2011)
* Hinton, William. Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village. (University of California Press, 1966)
* Hinton, William. Shenfan: The Continuing Revolution in a Chinese Village. (Random House, 1983)
* Huang, Philip C. C. The Peasant Family and Social Change in North China. (Stanford University Press, 1985)
* Huang, Philip C. C. The Peasant Family and Rural Development in the Yangzi Delta, 1350-1988. (Stanford University Press, 1990)
* Manning, Kimberly Ens and Felix Wemheuer, eds. Eating Bitterness: New Perspectives on China's Great Leap Forward and Famine (UBC Press, 2012)
* Tsai, Lily. Accountability Without Democracy: Solidary Groups and Public Goods Provision in Rural China(Cambridge, 2007)
* Unger, Jonathan. The Transformation of Rural China. (M.E. Sharpe, 2002)
* Walker, Kathy Le Mons. Chinese Modernity and the Peasant Path: Semicolonialism in the North Yangzi Delta. (Stanford University Press, 1999)

10. Oral histories & memoirs
* Chun Sue. Beijing Doll. (Riverhead, 2004)
* Cunningham, Philip. Tiananmen Moon: Inside the Chinese Student Uprising of 1989 (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010)
* Gates, Hill. Looking for Chengdu: A Woman's Adventures in China (Cornell University Press, 1999)
* Hershatter, Gail and Emily Honig. Personal Voices: Chinese Women in the 1980s. (Stanford University Press, 1988)
* Hessler, Peter. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. (Harper, 2001)
* Liao Yiwu. The Corpse Walker - Real Life Stories: China From the Bottom Up. (Knopf Doubleday, 2009)
* Ma Yan and Pierre Haski. The Diary of Ma Yan: The Struggles and Hopes of a Chinese School Girl (HarperCollins, 2005)
* Rae Yang. Spider Eaters: A Memoir (University of California Press, 1997)
* Snow, Edgar. Red Star Over China. (Grove Press, 1968)
* Ye, Sang, Geremie Barme and Miriam Lang, eds. China Candid: The People on the People’s Republic. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001)
* Xinran. The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices (Anchor, 2003)
* Zhong Xueping, Zheng Wang, Bai Di, eds. Some of Us: Chinese Women Growing Up in the Mao Era.(Rutgers University Press, 2001)

11. Recommended Chinese fiction translated into English
* Ba Jin. Family.
* Ding Ling. I Myself Am a Woman: Selected Writings of Ding Ling (edited by Tani E. Barlow and Gary J. Bjorge, Beacon Press, 1989)
* Han Shaogang. 2005. A Dictionary of Maqiao.
* Lu Xun. The Real Story of Ah-Q and Other Tales (translated by Julia Lovell, Penguin Classics, 2010)
* Ma Jian. 2008. Beijing Coma.
* Mo Yan. 1995. The Garlic Ballads.
* Su Tong. Rice: A Novel (Harper, 1994)
* Wang Shuo. Please Don't Call Me Human.
* Wang Xiaobo. Wang in Love and Bondage: Three Novellas (SUNY Press, 2008)
* Yu Hua. 2007. Cries in the Drizzle.
* Zhang, Eileen...

12. Miscellaneous books
* Chan, Anita, ed. Walmart in China (ILR Press, 2011)
* Dikötter, Frank, Lars Laamann and Zhou Xun. Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs in China (University of Chicago Press, 2005)
* Dutton, Michael. Streetlife China. (Cambridge, 1999)
* Gladney, Dru. Dislocating China: Muslims, Minorities, and Other Subaltern Subjects (University of Chicago Press, 2004)
* Harrell, Stevan. Cultural Encounters on China's Ethnic Frontiers. (University of Washington Press, 1994)
* Hsing, You-tien. The Great Urban Transformation: Politics of Land and Property in China. (Oxford University Press, 2012)
* Hsing, You-tien and Ching Kwan Lee, eds. Reclaiming Chinese Society: The New Social Activism. (Routledge, 2009)
* Jones, Andrew. Like a Knife: Ideology and Genre in Contemporary Chinese Popular Music. (University of Hawai'i Press, 1995)
* Lipman, Jonathn. Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims in Northwest China (University of Washington Press, 1998)
* Litzinger, Ralph. Other Chinas: The Yao and the Politics of National Belonging (Duke University Press, 2000)
* Mathews, Gordon. Ghetto at the Center of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong (Hong Kong University Press, 2011)
* Mertha, Andrew. China's Water Warriors: Citizen Action and Policy Change (Cornell University Press, 2010)
* Osburg, John. Anxious Wealth: Money and Morality Among China's New Rich (Stanford University Press, 2013)
* Qin Shao. Shanghai Gone: Domicide and Defiance in a Chinese Megacity (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013)
* Shapiro, Judith. China's Environmental Challenges (Polity Press, 2012)
* Yao Ching, ed. As Normal as Possible: Negotiating Sexuality and Gender in Mainland China and Hong Kong (Hong Kong University Press, 2010)
* Yeh, Emily T. Taming Tibet: Landscape Transformation and the Gift of Chinese Development (Cornell University Press, 2013)
* Zhang Li. Strangers in the City: Reconfigurations of Space, Power, and Social Networks Within China's Floating Population (Stanford University Press, 2002)

Expanded from Nao's recommended sources on China

  • 1. See Prol-position's discussion of this book here.
  • 2. See Husunzi's long critical review here.

Comments

ZJW
Jun 25 2019 01:30

Things missing from the list:

The 1979 Root-and-Branch text 'Chinese Roads to State Capitalism: Stalinism and Bukharinism in China's Industrial Revolution':
https://libcom.org/history/chinese-roads-state-capitalism-stalinism-bukh...

Minus : a magazine/group in in Hong Kong in the late 1970s and early 1980s that was 'influenced by anarchism, left communism and the counter-culture':
https://libcom.org/history/some-editions-minus-magazine-hong-kong-1970s-...

In French, by the council communist Charles Reeve:

Le tigre de papier. Sur le développement du capitalisme en Chine. 1949-1971 (Éditions Spartacus, 1972)

(Book cover and descrption of content)

zugzwang
Jun 25 2019 03:24

Could maybe add China on Strike as well

Nymphalis Antiopa
Jul 1 2019 17:07

libcom note: please do not use the comments section as an excuse to spam links to your site; you've been warned about this previously. Future spam links will be removed without warning. - Ed

Dan Radnika
Oct 4 2020 14:06

Certainly add China on Strike, and mention that it is available in Chinese and French, as well as English!

Frank Dikötter’s “People’s Trilogy” books about important events in Chinese history are all good:
The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution 1945-1957
Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-62
The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, 1962―1976

- Dikötter write’s about China from a classical liberal point of view… China would have been better off if the “Revolution” had never happened. I freely admit that I’m inclined to agree!

Zhang Lijia, “Socialism is Great!” – a worker’s memoir of the New China – describes what it was like to be an industrial worker in the Mao era and after. Ends with the author’s participation in protests in support of the Tiananmen Square movement (she was in Nanjing). The author still lives in China.

For those specifically interested in the history of Shanghai:
Marie-Claire Bergère, Shanghai: China's Gateway to Modernity
Bergère is very keen on making the case that Shanghai in the early twentieth century had the most progressive and modern bourgeoisie in China. Indeed, she also wrote a book called The Golden Age of the Shanghai Bourgeoisie, 1911-1937. She’s written loads of other books about China too, but they are mostly only available in French.

Shanghai in the 1920s:
S. A. Smith, A Road is Made – Communism in China, 1920-1927
- all about the early days of the Chinese CP
S. A. Smith, Like Cattle and Horses – nationalism and labor in Shanghai, 1895-1927
- Title says it all. Shanghai had a highly developed (but highly divided) proletariat, as well as a modern bourgeoise… Yes, it’s the same Steve Smith who wrote Red Petrograd, about workers’ factory committees in the Russian Revolution.

A big book about the horrors of the Great Leap Forward (just to make you hate Maoists even more):
Yang Jisheng, Tombstone
He got slagged off by the “neo-Maoists” (the Chinese equivalent of the alt-right) for writing the book even though, of course, it had been banned in China! Hopefully, the “Streisand effect” did its job and encouraged the surreptitious import of a few more copies from Hong Kong or wherever.

And speaking of the neo-Maoists:
Jude D. Blanchette, China’s New Red Guards – the return of radicalism and the rebirth of Mao Zedong
- Essentially about how the CCP tolerates the existence of far right (ultra-nationalist Mao-lover) “critics” as a loyal opposition.

Hong Kong:
Jason Y Ng, Umbrellas in Bloom – a detailed account of the “Umbrella Movement” of 2014. Sometimes difficult to get hold of, but you can still order it from the publisher in Hong Kong.

Nymphalis Antiopa
Oct 4 2020 15:36

Only just seen what Libcom admin wrote back in July 2019:

Quote:
libcom note: please do not use the comments section as an excuse to spam links to your site; you've been warned about this previously. Future spam links will be removed without warning. - Ed

Well, it's not exactly "my" site but no matter.
When did you warn me previously?
You didn't warn me back in July 2019, so your final sentence needn't have mentioned "Future".
Nor did you say why you thought this was spam.
I can't remember what I linked to but this seems to be a very selective discriminatory attitude on your part as I imagine I could only have done for the DD site the kind of things linked to above in the OP - e.g. Mouvement Communiste's links or Aufheben's links, or , now, the texts mentioned by Dan Radnika.

Here, again, I link to various texts and if you want to remove the links to them do so but please offer some explanation of why you allow links to Chuang, prol-position, Charles Reeves, etc. but not to Dialectical Delinquents:
Discussion on the Jasic workers strike, November 2018
Recent struggles in China, October 2016
Riots in China, 2011
Communisation and the Great Leap Backwards (about Mao's Great Leap Forwards
China 2020 - 2019

ZJW
Oct 13 2020 07:49

[deleted]

ZJW
Oct 5 2020 11:41

(Except that it's 'A Road is Made – Communism in Shanghai' of course, not 'A Road is Made – Communism in China')

R Totale
Oct 5 2020 13:10

Would I be right in thinking that the neo-Maoists mentioned in DR's post are very different to the Maoists involved in, say, the Jasic dispute? Or is there overlap? I suppose it makes sense that there'd be some level of confusion about these things.

Reddebrek
Oct 5 2020 13:45

No, in fact the book narrative of new red guards ends as some of them were getting involved in the Jasic dispute before it became well known.

I wouldn't say
" Essentially about how the CCP tolerates the existence of far right (ultra-nationalist Mao-lover) “critics” as a loyal opposition."

Isn't entirely accurate, as the movement depicted in the book is a lot more diverse (social democrats, old style Maoists, newer Maoists, ultra nationalists, anti-globalisation, people who just hate the Americans, social conservatives, social reformers, environmentalists, anti-corruption campaigners, some high ranking members of the party, some expelled members, cheerleaders of Xi, cheerleaders of Bo Xilai etc) and fractious. And while the cpc wants to use them for its own ends and does, it still doesn't trust them and people close to it do still face the usual penalties for stepping out of line.

Its less a defined movement and more a network associated with a dozen sites, including utopia, blogs, bookshops and lectures. And a lot of online harassment and government informants.

Dan Radnika
Oct 8 2020 20:39

Well, probably not all the neo-Maoists will call you a race traitor (hanjian) if you are Chinese and disagree with them, but quite a few seem to… Jude Blanchette’s book is certainly worth checking out.

As for the Jasic activists, it’s certainly tempting to think that are just shouting “long live Mao Zedong!” because they think it will give them a respectable cover - rather like democracy protesters shouting Allahu Akbar in Iran a few years ago! But, all the available evidence seems to suggest that they really are Maoist believers. Of course, if you try to support strikes as an “outside agitator” in China you are going to get into trouble, no matter what your ideology.

And here's some more books I've just remembered:

Stein Ringen, The Perfect Dictatorship – China in the 21st Century
- I like this book because it gives you an idea of how the Chinese state actually works, rather than just saying that it’s not democratic or not socialist.

Leslie T. Chang, Factory Girls – from village to city in a changing China
- Anecdotal examination of the lives of female Chinese factory workers, by a Chinese American journalist. Mostly based on two migrant workers that Chang met in Dongguan.

Another one from Frank Dikötter:
The Discourse of Race in Modern China
- A history of racist ideology in China since the 18th century. Inspired by an incident in 1987 when the author found himself hiding under a college canteen table with a group of African students while a racist mob threw rocks through the windows. Being an academic, he decided to write a book…

Fan Wendong, My 20 Years with a State Enterprise (translated by Eva To)
- A first-hand account of manual labour in a Chinese SOE, before and after privatisation. The SOE was a distillery making baijiu.

And, finally (for now), Hong Kong again:
Jeffie Lam, Rebel City – Hong Kong’s Year of Water and Fire
- Useful journalistic accounts of the protest movement in Hong Kong in 2019-20. It’s a collection of articles written by South China Morning Post journalists. Sounds dull… and don’t expect any great political insights, but there’s plenty of facts to keep you interested. Reading this book saves you having to read every issue of the SCMP for eight months or so!

Hieronymous
Oct 9 2020 01:11
Steven. wrote:

7. Recommended books on Chinese Workers
* China, Anita, ed. China's Workers Under Assault: The Exploitation of Labor in a Globalizing Economy (M.E. Sharpe, 2001)

This is a typo. The editor should be Anita Chan

Hieronymous
Oct 9 2020 03:22

I scoured my own bookshelf and found several recommendations:

Miscellaneous books

*Al, Stefan, ed., Factory Towns of South China: An Illustrated Guidebook (Hong Kong University Press, 2012)
- A really interesting book, with great articles and fun graphics, photos maps, and charts. Also, a good account of the 2010 Honda Strike in Foshan. (When I visited Shenzhen 5 years ago, this book helped me navigate around its massive manufacturing complex, exploring the exterior of the gigantic Langhua Science and Technology Park and the huge Foxconn factory compound -- its largest in the world -- with the anti-suicide fences on roofs and nets at the base of buildings)

* Chan, Anita, ed., Chinese Workers in a Comparative Perspective (IRL, 2015)
- An anthology of analytic articles about historical and structural developments, labor standards, and unions, collective bargaining and the right to strike. Some are dry and abstract, but others are very insightful

* Cheung, Gary Ka-wai, Hong Kong's Watershed: The 1967 Riots (Hong Kong University Press, 2009)
-An amazing account of the Sha Tau Kok Incident, a struggle at the international border where New Territories and Shenzhen meet. It led to the first armed conflict since Britain colonized Hong Kong in 1842. It contains thorough accounts of the anti-colonial bombing campain and riots to set the record straight about this turning point in the colony's history

* Leung, Parry P., Labor Activists and the New Workers Class in China (Palgrave, 2015)
- Based on his PhD dissertation, written under the guidance of Pun Ngai and Hong Kong University. It's an ethnographical analysis of workers in the jewelry sector, with accounts of revelant strikes

* Ngai, Pun, Migrant Labor in China: Post-Socialist Transformations (Polity Press, 2016)
- The presumption here, that China was once socialist is flawed, but this is a useful book that charts the making and unmaking of the Chinese working class

* Ping, Lu, ed. A Moment of Truth Workers' Participation in China's 1989 Democracy Movement and the Emergence of Independent Unions (Asian Monitor Resource Center, 1990)
- It has an obvious reformist slant in promoting Western-style trade unions, but it revealed that by the time of the crackdown Tiananmen Square was mostly occupied by workers as most students had left. Mass work stoppages had spread across the country and it was this spontaneous working class self-activity that precipitated the brutal repression.

* The 70s, ed. China: The Revolution is Dead - Long Live the Revolution (Black Rose Books, 1977)
- Contains Council Communist Cajo Brendel's seminal text "These on the Chinese Revolution," as well as chapters by Raya Dunayevskaya and the Situationist International

* Wu, Hongda Harry, Laogai: The Chinese Gulag (Westview Press, 1992)
- A first-hand account written by Wu after having spent 19 in Laogai, as well as analysis of the thousands of forced labor camps in China -- where at the time, 16-20 Chinese were imprisoned

* Zhang, Lu, Inside China's Automobile Factories: The Politics of Labor and Worker Resistance (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
- Another PhD dissertation, this one written under the guidance of Beverley Silver at Johns Hopkins University. Great accounts of the 2010 Honda Strike at the transmission-gear works in Foshan
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And one last book of personal interest, since the authors did a few book talks where I live:

* Shigang, Fan, Striking to Survive: Workers' Resistance to Factory Relocations in China (Haymarket Books, 2018)
- Not as exciting as their previous China on Strike, but an important historical document about the wave of factory closures throughout the Pearl River Delta and the struggles by workers to not get cheated out of their pensions and other benefits. Unfortunately, the lesson it leaves is bleak as the international working class must grapple with how to fight against factory relocations as producers like Walmart and Uniqlo scour the planet for the cheapest labor. Also like China on Strike, it was written by a factory worker who himself contributes to the underground workers' journal Factory Stories, which documents the lives and struggles of workers and includes accounts of strikes