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New Left Review I/17, Winter 1962

W.J.F. Jenner

China Today

The Sino-Soviet Conflict, 1956–1961: Donald S. Zagoria Princeton University Press; London: Oxford University Press, 50s. 484 pp.

The Long March to Freedom: Stuart and Roma Gelder. Hutchinson, 30s. 256 pp.

That the governments and parties of the USSR and China are not composed of mentally identical automata is now an open secret. The discovery that it is possible for communists to disagree on the application of shared general principles to specific situations, to argue their disagreements in newspapers, journals and meetings, and even to lose their tempers with each other, has disturbed the set vision of the professional anticommunists and kremlinologues. References to the “Peiping puppet régime” are no longer possible for those of them who want to be taken seriously. Hence the present fashion for analyzing the “cracks in the monolith” concealed in the cryptic language of international communism.

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W. J. F. Jenner, ‘China Today’, NLR I/17: £3

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