Official Chinese narratives recounting the rise of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tend to minimize the movement's international associations. Conducting careful readings and translations of recently released documents in Russian, Japanese, and Chinese, Ishikawa Yoshihiro builds a portrait of the party's multifaceted character, revealing the provocative influences that shaped the movement and the ideologies of its competitors.Making use of public and private documents and research, Ishikawa begins the story in 1919 with Chinese intellectuals who wrote extensively under pen names and, in fact, plagiarized or translated many iconic texts of early Chinese Marxism. Chinese Marxists initially drew intellectual sustenance from their Japanese counterparts, until Japan clamped down on leftist activities. The Chinese then turned to American and British sources. Ishikawa traces these networks through an exhaustive survey of journals, newspapers, and other intellectual and popular publications. He reports on numerous early meetings involving a range of groups, only some of which were later funneled into CCP membership, and he follows the developments at Soviet Russian gatherings attended by a number of Chinese representatives who claimed to speak for a nascent CCP. Concluding his narrative in 1922, one year after the party's official founding, Ishikawa clarifies a traditionally opaque period in Chinese history and sheds new light on the subsequent behavior and attitude of the party.
Ishikawa Yoshihiro completed his graduate work at Kyoto University and is now an associate professor at its Institute for Research in Humanities. He has also taught at Kobe University. In addition to his research on the early Chinese Communist Party, he has followed the emergence of the social sciences in China and is currently investigating socialist culture in post-1949 China.Joshua A. Fogel studied at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and Kyoto University. He has taught at Harvard University and at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is Canada Research Chair in the History Department at York University. Among many other works, he is the author, most recently, of Articulating the Sinosphere: Sino-Japanese Relations in Space and Time and the translator of Inoue Yasushi's The Blue Wolf: A Novel of the Life of Chinggis Khan.
Highly interesting and laudable... with a superb level of documentary research.Daniel Y.K. Kwan:With this solidly documented and critically argued book, Ishikawa Yoshihiro has made a major contribution to our understanding of the process of the formation of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).Timothy Cheek, Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia:Joshua Fogel has rendered Ishikawa Yoshihiro's Japanese study into a lucid and scrupulously prepared English edition. This account of the international aspects of the founding of the CCP is built on vivid detail and impeccable archival research. It is an important new contribution to English-language scholarship and an invitation to comparative scholars of modern Chinese history, Sino-Japanese relations, and world Marxism.