09/26/2013, 00.00
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Chinese leaders' most widely read books reflect their fears

CPC Central Committee's Top Ten list is released. Only one foreign author, Thomas Friedman, is included with his 'The World is Flat', a look at rise and fall of the Soviet superpower.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - China's fifth generation of Communist leaders mainly read books that highlight the achievements of China and those of the Communist Party, and are afraid that these successes could end soon, this according to the top ten most read books by Xi Jinping and his colleagues.

The only two titles that are not national bestsellers are The Rise and Fall of a Superpower, which looks at the collapse of the Soviet Union, and "The World is Flat", a smash take by US author Thomas Friedman on globalisation. Both texts reflect the concerns of the new Chinese leadership over the possible collapse of the Party and the effects of the international economic world.

The list of the Top Ten was released by the CPC Central Committee. The books voted to the top ten list were chosen from among 103 titles.

The top 10 list is dominated by domestic authors discussing Chinese history, economics and politics.  Pain and Glory by Jin Yinan, on how the Party came to power, ranked first. The Historic 30 years by Wu Xiaobo, about Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms, came in second and Zeng Guofan by Tang Haoming on the life of an eminent mandarin from the late Qing Dynasty

What to read has always been very important in the history of the Communist Party. In his early years in power, Mao Zedong published a list of books useful for revolutionaries.

For his part, former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is said to have read Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius' Meditations over 100 times. His successor and current Premier Li Keqiang is said to recommend The Third Industrial Revolution by American economist Jeremy Rifkin.


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