This book outlines and analyzes the economic development of China between 1949 and 2007. Rather than being narrowly economic, the book addresses many of the broader aspects of development, including literacy, morality, demographics and the environment. The distinctive features of this book are its sweep and that it does not shy away from controversial issues. For example, there is no question that aspects of Maoism were disastrous but Bramall argues that there was another side to the whole programme. More recently, the current system of government has presided over three decades of very rapid economic growth. However, the author shows that this growth has come at a price. Bramall makes it clear that unless radical change takes place, Chinese growth will not be sustainable. This large, comprehensive text is relevant to all those studying the economic history of China as well as its contemporary economy. It is also useful more generally for students and researchers in the fields of international and development economics.