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  1. About the Book
  2. Bruce Gilley, Model Rebels. The Rise and Fall of China’s Richest Village
  3. Access Check
  4. Model Rebels: The Rise and Fall of China's Richest Village
  5. JSTOR: Access Check

Belts, clubs, and steel bars rained down on the fallen figure. By the time family members were permitted to come to his assistance an hour later, it was too late.

About the Book

Jade Field was dead. Yu Zuomin placed the victim's extended family under long-term house arrest to prevent news of the murder from leaking out of the village. When one of them escaped to Beijing to raise the alarm, Yu fought a determined, initially successful effort to prevent any prosecution. When an outraged journalist and an influential Beijing attorney finally caught the attention of national leaders, a court in Tianjin stopped dithering and found Yu's seven followers guilty. What does Gilley conclude about this murder case?


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Oddly enough, that it "solidified Yu's image within the village as a leader whose causes should command allegiance" p. Gilley does not base this conclusion on any extensive interviewing with villagers. In fact, he only briefly visited the village once in his life, for part of one day, in , and relies on official Chinese media reports for the great bulk of the book's evidence. Why, then, should he believe Yu enjoyed popular If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'.

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Bruce Gilley, Model Rebels. The Rise and Fall of China’s Richest Village

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Without cookies your experience may not be seamless. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Here, first, is his description of the initial murder: When combined with authoritarian rule, the outcomes are far from certain and require further research.

Access Check

The book is full of interesting observations of rural life under reforms and it raises interesting questions about the role of model villages in Chinese politics and the political and social consequences of the new wealth that has arisen in many villages. Gilley provides a well researched account of the formation of a village conglomerate that oversaw village activities and operated as a kind of Village Inc.

Family and clan networks ran this conglomerate that effectively substituted for village governance. Importantly, Gilley draws on the work of Lin Nan to show how important subsequent ownership changes have been resulting in privatisation in all but name. This is the next revolution in the countryside and we need to understand this process more carefully.

Model Rebels: The Rise and Fall of China's Richest Village

Under Yu, the assets of the conglomerate were used to improve the lot of all the village dwellers. Will this still be the case with assets now concentrated in the hands of a small number of company executives? It would be ironic if the return of Party rule to the village coincided with the marginalisation of many villagers from the new found wealth.

Gilley has written a great book on the changes taking place in rural China. It is vividly written, as one would expect from a professional journalist, and his arguments are clearly and forcefully presented.

He makes the story of local resistance, the presence of determined leadership, and new sources of wealth to challenge the party a compelling one. All interested in developments in rural China should read this book.


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