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First published in Great Britain by HarperPress in 2008
Copyright © John Keay 2008 and 2009
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Source ISBN: 9780007221783
Ebook Edition © MARCH 2010 ISBN: 9780007372089
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The Master said, ‘Is it not a pleasure, having learned something, to try it out at due intervals? Is it not a joy to have like-minded friends come from afar? Is it not gentlemanly not to take offence when others fail to appreciate your abilities?’
Confucius, The Analects, Book I, i1
He who does not forget the past is master of the present.
Sima Qian, Shiji2
REWRITING THE PAST
CHINA’S ECONOMIC RESURGENCE IN THE POST-MAO era has not been without its casualties. Gone are the Chairman’s portraits, the mass parades of flag-waving workers and the hoe-toting brigades on their collectivised farms. Apartment blocks, tightly mustered and regimentally aligned, perform the new choreography; flyovers vault the rice paddies, cable cars abseil the most sacred of mountains, hydrofoils ruffle the lakes beloved of poets. Familiar features in the historical landscape have either disappeared or been reconfigured as