In This Review
The Tiananmen Papers

The Tiananmen Papers

By Compiled By Zhang Liang (Pseudonym), edited by Andrew J. Nat

Public Affairs, 2001, 560 pp.

Excerpts from this extraordinary compilation of documents first appeared in the previous issue of this journal ("The Tiananmen Papers," January/February 2001). The papers detail the deliberations of the Chinese leadership in the spring of 1989, leading up to the Tiananmen Square tragedy on June 4. In so doing, The Tiananmen Papers grants the reader access to the innermost decision-making processes of one of the world's most secretive governments during an infamous moment in its history. The documents contain the minutes of meetings of the Politburo and its five-person Standing Committee, the highest body of formal political power in China. Even more astonishing

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  • Lucian W. Pye is Ford Professor of Political Science Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and reviews books on Asia for Foreign Affairs. His own books include The Spirit of Chinese Politics.
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