Australian Left Review

Authors

Peter Nolan

Abstract

John Gurley has an impeccable background as a ‘straight’ economist having been managing editor o f the prestigious journal the American Economic Review from 1963 to 1968, but his writings on China since the late 1960’s have been those of a committed leftist disillusioned with the answers provided by conventional economics. The book under review contains eight essays of uneven length and interest, ranging from a short consideration of the Chinese financial system to a long account o f the formation of Mao’s economic strategy in the base areas before Liberation. It is an odd collection. No less than five of the essays have been published before, and the most important of them (chapter 1) has already been widely read and is still easily available. Chapter 3 consists entirely of book reviews and takes up almost one-third o f the whole volume. The essays do not progress logically from one subject to another, and the major themes appear in much the same form in several places.

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