Departmental Bulletin Paper A review of Wang Xiaofang’s book The Civil Servant’s Notebook

タチアナ, プティンツェヴァ  ,  マイケル ヘリマン

  In conversing with Professor McGrath one becomes aware of his interest in politics and philosophy, and particularly in the functioning of bureaucracies at all levels. For that reason we submit the article below. It is an account of a civil bureaucracy in China that could have failed to the detriment of those it was meant to most benefit, had it not been for a small number of bureaucrats who held fast to Confucian principles. The story, though fictional, bears an undisguised likeness to an event in recent Chinese history, when bureaucrats in a large city resorted to criminal acts to subvert the process of selecting the new mayor. Its reference to a particular event can be put aside, as one can recognize in it allusions to many other social and political events where contesting sides resort to immoral or illegal behavior to further their ends. The book deserves a place in the cannon of great allegories.

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