The Man Who Stayed Behind In 1946 Sidney Rittenberg became the only American ever to join the Chinese Communist Party. As he climbed through its ranks as translator and party… Biography Politics and Current Events Simon & Schuster
Book Review

The Man Who Stayed Behind

EW's GRADE
A-

Details Writers: Amanda Bennett, Sidney Rittenberg; Genres: Biography, Politics and Current Events; Publisher: Simon & Schuster

In 1946 Sidney Rittenberg became the only American ever to join the Chinese Communist Party. As he climbed through its ranks as translator and party official, he was in a unique position to observe the CCP's astonishing military successes as well as its political contortions. A compelling storyteller, Rittenberg gives vivid accounts of everything from his first encounter with Mao Zedong (while Mao was dancing one night to ''Turkey in the Straw'') to his qualms about the Cultural Revolution in The Man Who Stayed Behind. Despite his unconvincing protestations of naiveté about party corruption, he provides valuable insights into where China's great social experiment went wrong. A-

Originally posted Apr 23, 1993 Published in issue #167 Apr 23, 1993 Order article reprints