China’s DreamThe Culture of Chinese Communism and the Secret Sources of its Power
China’s Dream
The Culture of Chinese Communism and the Secret Sources of its Power

The Communist Party of China is one of the great political forces of modern times. In charge of the destiny of a fifth of humanity, it survives despite the collapse of similar systems elsewhere. Few however understand the sources of this resilience, or, for that matter, what the Party itself stands for.

China’s Dream is the first book to explore the Communist Party as a cultural, rather than a political, entity. It looks at the narratives the Party has created to recount its own history, with the moral story about national rejuvenation and renaissance that these encode. It does not shy away from the thorny issue of how a Party under Mao Zedong, one associated with self-sacrifice, collectivist effort and anti-individualism, came to pragmatically embrace market capitalism and a new ethics. Here self-development and the space we now call Deep China, the China of individual Chinese people's lives outside the bounds of politics, sit beside the maintenance of state and party control over key areas of public life. The tensions to which this gives rise have resulted in a crisis of values, which is now being addressed - with very mixed results - by the CCP.

Drawing on his extensive knowledge of contemporary China, Kerry Brown takes us on a unique and fascinating journey through the least understood aspect of China today - not the great economic revolution in the material world, but the deep cultural revolution already underway in Chinese people's daily lives.

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  • September 2018 (pb)
    September 2018 (hb)
  • 208 pages
  • 152 x 229 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509524563
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509524570
  • Open eBook $24.95
  • 9781509524600
Table of Contents





Chapter One: Redemption from the Dark Past

Chapter Two: Winning the Historic Mission: The Party under Xi

Chapter Three: Being a Good Chinese Communist – The Search for a Moral Narrative in Xi Jinping’s China

Chapter Four: Back to Basics: The Roots of the Party’s Moral Crisis

Chapter Five: The Drama of Ideas: The Party and Ideology

Chapter Six: The Ideological Fightback Under Xi

Chapter Seven: The Aesthetics of the Party


Selected Readings


About the Author

Kerry Brown is the Director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College London and Associate for Chinese Affairs at Chatham House. With 30 years experience of life in China, he has worked in education, business and government, including a term as First Secretary at the British Embassy in Beijing. He writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement, The Observer, The Diplomat and Foreign Affairs, as well as for many international and Chinese media outlets. He is the author of ten books on China, including the Amazon-bestselling CEO China: The Rise of Xi Jinping, and The New Emperors.

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"Kerry Brown uncovers the moral mission behind the imposing language of the Communist Party of China, opening the door to understanding just what Xi Jinping and his colleagues think they are doing. It is, indeed, a revival of Maoist politics, but not of the Cultural Revolution variety. It’s a brave new world that will be with us for many years and Brown provides a clear and concise guide to it."
Timothy Cheek, Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia

"Kerry Brown has provided a readable, authoritative guide to understanding how the Communist Party of China is forging a new identity for itself and the country. Eschewing simplistic explanations, he shows how the Party has successfully tapped into a broader search for values and morality, helping to give it more legitimacy--and power--than many observers thought possible just a few years ago. Strongly recommended for anyone interested in the corporate culture of what makes China's ruling party tick."
Ian Johnson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao

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