>p>Wen Rui's >i>Land Revolution in the Chinese Soviet>/i> is the finest study available in English, perhaps in any language, on the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and the peasantry first forged in the furnace of land revolution and guerrilla war in the years 1927-35. Working closely and critically with local and regional documentation to elucidate the land policy debates and struggles in the Central Soviet, the author draws several significant and even controversial conclusions:>/p>>p>â¢ Land confiscation and redistribution initially played a critical part in mobilizing broad popular support for the insurgents, yet two tendencies gravely weakened the movement. The first was that policies such as the confiscation and redistribution of all land (and not just that of landlords, or of landlords and rich peasants) struck fear in the hearts of smallholding owner cultivators, both poor and especially middle peasant (to use the party's categories). Second, he found that repeated distribution of land, sometimes twice, three times, or more within the space of a year or two, shredded popular support, destroyed production incentives, and perpetuated uncertainty among the people. Here and elsewhere, Wen offers valuable insights into the ongoing debates over the welfare of contemporary Chinese farmers and their rights to the land, including the question of redistribution in the name of equality, as well as ownership rights, particularly the purchase and sale of redistributed land.>/p>
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Volume (Year): 27 (1994)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
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