Stalin and Mao

Chabrowski, Igor Iwo. [Compte rendu de] Lucien Bianco, Stalin and Mao : a comparison of the Russian and Chinese revolutions (Hong Kong, The Chinese University Press, 2018). China Perspectives, 2018, n° 3. URL : http://www.cefc.com.hk/article/lucien-bianco-stalin-and-mao-a-comparison-of-the-russian-and-chinese-revolutions/#_ftnref1 (consulté le 19 octobre 2018)

Compte rendu

Lucien Bianco’s newly translated book Stalin and Mao: A Comparison of the Russian and Chinese Revolutions is a masterful work of comparative history. Painted in broad strokes, strongly worded, and not shying away from negative judgments, this book represents both an excellent narrative of the twentieth century history of the two largest communist countries, and the author’s horror with the direction the communist movement took in the hands of Stalin and Mao.

It is worth noting that the English translation published by the Chinese University Press differs in minor respects from the French original. The title La récidive (“the recurrence” or “the repeat offence,” as discussed by S. A. Smith,[1] was rendered as Stalin and Mao, a title that downplays Bianco’s critical point: the lack of originality of Mao’s revolution and the persistence of the Stalinist model. In the same vein, Chapter 9 was defanged from “Monstres” (“monsters”) to “Dictators”—a minor but significant change of tone, which may be due to the CUHK Press’ efforts to publish relevant works on PRC history despite the narrowing scope of publishing freedom in Hong Kong in recent years.

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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