The title of this book refers to a sudden outburst of criticism of the Chinese Communist regime, which occurred in the summer of 1957. It sheds a revealing light on many aspects of the regime - education, literature, the arts, and above all the reality of the Communist Party's claim to be leading a united 'coalition' government in which leading non-Communists co-operated happily and usefully for the common national good. Of particular interest is the criticism levelled by the young, raised under the regime, but nevertheless clearly disenchanted with it. This criticism was in fact invited by Chairman Mao, but he was so surprised at its breadth and intensity that he ignored it completely, and the 'hundred flowers' he had hoped to make bloom never materialised.
Roderick Lemonde MacFarquhar (born 1930) is a Harvard University professor and China specialist, British politician, newspaper and television journalist and academic orientalist. He served as a Member of Parliament in the 1970s.
Our copy is in generally good condition, its unclipped (but price is blanked out) dust jacket also in reasonable condition, with browning, foxing, some general grubbiness, and tearing at the top near the spine (see photo). The book itself is bound in patterned bluish cloth with publisher's logo imprinted on the front cover. Title etc in gilt lettering on a black panel on the spine. Some generalised grubbiness externally. Inside, endpapers and textblock edges are foxed, but there is no migration into the body of the book, the pages being all clean, and the binding firm. An interesting glimpse into a little-known period of Chinese history.