Mao and the Economic Stalinization of China, 1948–1953

The sixth book, Mao and the Economic Stalinization of China, 1948-1953 by Hua-yu Li, is an in-depth study of China’s relations with the Soviet Union during the first several years of Communist rule in China.  Drawing on the rich archival materials released in China since the mid-1980s and Russian archival information released since the early 1990s, Li explains why the Chinese Communist leader, Mao Zedong, abruptly discarded his initial economic policies of “New Democracy” — much sooner than specified by the official party line — and embraced a radical Stalinist economic program called the “general line for socialist transition.” Li argues that Mao, in deference to but also in rivalry with the Soviet leader Iosif Stalin, had decided that China should and could move far more rapidly toward a Stalinist system.  The book was praised by a reviewer in the American Political Science Review as “an invaluable contribution not only to the much-neglected topic of Mao's role in early PRC economic history [and relations with the USSR] but more broadly to the literature on the political economy of China” under Communist rule.  Another reviewer described the book as “a major contribution to the literature on the Chinese policy-making process under Mao.”