Fellow launches book ahead of centenary of the Chinese Communist Party

Tuesday 4 May 2021

Professor Hans van de Ven (1988), Fellow and Director of Studies in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at St Catharine’s, has co-edited a new book published by Cambridge University Press ahead of the centenary of the Chinese Communist Party.

The Chinese Communist Party: A Century in Ten Lives shines a spotlight on the engaging personal histories of people who led or engaged with the Party, one for each of the ten decades of its existence. These essays reflect on the meaning of the party in each of the lives it chronicles, its often troubled history, and its extraordinary adaptability through the transformative decades since 1921.

Professor van de Ven commented, “This July, the Chinese Communist Party will commemorate its founding one hundred years ago. The Chinese Communist Party: A Century in Ten Lives documents this century, not by examining CCP policy, CCP campaigns, or CCP factional strife, but by providing a mosaic of what it was like to live in, for, with, and under the Party. The persons who feature in this mosaic range from intellectual figures such as 1940s rebel rouser Wang Shiwei and 1950s movie star Shangguan Yunzhu to economic reformer Zhao Ziyang and the disillusioned but still loyal intellectual Wang Yuanhua, who critiqued the party in the 1990s. The hope is that the book provides a realistic sense of the diversity of the CCP, the hopes and disappointments its members have experienced, and the often complicated presence it has had in their lives.”

The Chinese Communist Party: A Century in Ten Lives was produced by an international team of leading historians, including two from the PRC. Co-editors alongside Professor van de Ven were Professor Timothy Cheek from the University of British Columbia and Professor Klaus Mühlhahn from the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen.

Join the official book launch via Zoom at 8.30pm BST on Thursday 6 May.

Watch the co-editors in conversation:


Find out more about Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at St Catharine’s.