"An urgent, lucid, and perceptive account of a subject which remains sadly neglected in favour of the study of war." --Charles Townshend, editor of The Oxford History of Modern War
"This is a marvellous book combining a remarkable historical perspective with a real sense of current predicaments. John Gittings brings a breadth of knowledge and understanding into the interpretation of peace that provides a much-needed antidote to the emphasis on conflict that is currently so pervasive. In doing so, he achieves the rare feat of combining a hard-headed approach to the issues with a sense of optimism that is rooted in experience. A hugely welcome addition to the literature on peace, and of great value to scholar, student or activist - indeed anyone committed to seeking a more peaceful world." --Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies, University of Bradford
"Magisterial... Impressive..." --David Rennie, Daily Telegraph
"The best single-volume history of the People's Republic of China from 1949 to the present" --Rana Mitter, Oxford University, award-winning author of A Bitter Revolution: China's Struggle with the Modern World
"Contains a wealth of information and is certainly a good counterweight to recent books which emphasise Mao's personality as the key to China's history in the 20th Century... the history of modern China is an epic one, told superbly by Gittings" --Guardian
About the Author
John Gittings was for many years chief foreign leader-writer and East Asia Editor at The Guardian, and is now on the editorial board of the Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace and a research associate of the Centre of Chinese Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies. After working at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, he began reporting on China during the Cultural Revolution, and later covered major events such as Tiananmen Square and the Hong Kong handover. He has also written extensively on the politics of the cold war and was active in the International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace. His last book was The Changing Face of China: From Mao to Market (2005), also published by Oxford University Press.