Searches the lives of six top politicians in the post-Mao Zedong era for answers about their paths to power


Grappling with enduring questions about the means of achieving power in the Chinese Communist hierarchy, this study analyzes the rise of six individuals (Ji Dengkui, Peng Chong, Gu Mu, Yu Qiuli, Xu Shiyou, and Chen Xilian) who held positions of elite political power in the immediate post-Mao Zedong era. In a new preface, the author applies his hypotheses to China’s more recent political developments.

David M. Lampton is Hyman Professor of China Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.