Mao Zedong launched the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution thirty years ago. This important new documentary history of that calamitous event presents a selection of key primary documents -- many of which are made available here for the first time -- dealing with the Cultural Revolution's massive and bloody assault on China's political and social systems. Comprehensive in scope, this detailed work --covers inter alia the launching of the movement, the Red Guards, the inquisition of party members accused of taking the capitalist road, and the devastating impact of these events on traditional culture, the economy, and China's national defense; --offers a section of recollections by victims and perpetrators; --enhances the documents with detailed commentary, a chronology, biographies, and photographs.
Mao Zedong launched the "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution" 30 years ago. This documentary history of the event presents a selection of key primary documents dealing with the Cultural Revolution's massive and bloody assault on China's political and social systems.
The Cultural Revolution in the People's Republic of China started in 1966 and lasted about a decade. This revolutionary upsurge of Chinese students and workers, led by Mao Zedong, wreaked havoc in the world's most populous country, often turning things upside down and undermining the party, government, and army while simultaneously weakening the economy, society, and culture. Tens of millions of people were killed, injured, or imprisoned during this period and relatively few benefited, aside from Mao Zedong and the Gang of Four, the group that would eventually receive the blame for the events of the Cultural Revolution. Given the turbulence and confusion, it is hard to know just what happened. The Historical Dictionary of the Chinese Cultural Revolution tackles this task. First, in an extensive chronology, which traces the events from year to year and month to month, then in an introduction puts these events in context and helps to explain them. But most importantly, the bulk of the information is provided in a dictionary section with numerous cross-referenced entries on important persons, places, institutions, and movements. A bibliography points to further sources of information and a glossary will help those researching in Chinese.
China's decade-long Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution shook the politics of China and the world. Even as we approach its fiftieth anniversary, the movement remains so contentious that the Chinese Communist Party still forbids fully open investigation of its origins, development, and conclusion. Drawing upon a vital trove of scholarship, memoirs, and popular culture, this Very Short Introduction illuminates this complex, often obscure, and still controversial movement. Moving beyond the figure of Mao Zedong, Richard Curt Kraus links Beijing's elite politics to broader aspects of society and culture, highlighting many changes in daily life, employment, and the economy. Kraus also situates this very nationalist outburst of Chinese radicalism within a global context, showing that the Cultural Revolution was mirrored in the radical youth movement that swept much of the world, and that had imagined or emotional links to China's red guards. Yet it was also during the Cultural Revolution that China and the United States tempered their long hostility, one of the innovations in this period that sowed the seeds for China's subsequent decades of spectacular economic growth.
When MAO'S CHINA first appeared in 1977, it was hailed as the single most useful general volume on recent Chinese history, covering every important question of the time with clarity and amazing insight. Now, Meisner brings the third edition of his definitive work, with new information provided throughout the classic study. Including a whole new section in Part Six, 'Deng Xiaoping and the Origins of Chinese Capitalism: 1976-1998', Meisner assesses the country's uneasy relationship with democracy, socialism and capitalism. Retaining the elegance, lucidity and comprehensiveness he is known for, Meisner moves far beyond his previous work to paint a never-before-seen portrait of the political and social realities of China on the brink of the new Millennium, and the global implications of its rise to economic and political power.
“Spence draws upon his extensive knowledge of Chinese politics and culture to create an illuminating picture of Mao. . . . Superb.” (Chicago Tribune) From humble origins in the provinces, Mao Zedong rose to absolute power, unifying with an iron fist a vast country torn apart by years of weak leadership, colonialism, and war. This sharply drawn and insightful account brings to life this modern-day emperor and the tumultuous era that he did so much to shape. Jonathan Spence captures Mao in all his paradoxical grandeur and sheds light on the radical transformation he unleashed that still reverberates in China today.
The impact of Communism on the twentieth century was massive, equal to that of the two world wars. Until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, historians knew relatively little about the secretive world of communist states and parties. Since then, the opening of state, party, and diplomatic archives of the former Eastern Bloc has released a flood of new documentation. The thirty-five essays in this Handbook, written by an international team of scholars, draw on this new material to offer a global history of communism in the twentieth century. In contrast to many histories that concentrate on the Soviet Union, The Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism is genuinely global in its coverage, paying particular attention to the Chinese Revolution. It is 'global', too, in the sense that the essays seek to integrate history 'from above' and 'from below', to trace the complex mediations between state and society, and to explore the social and cultural as well as the political and economic realities that shaped the lives of citizens fated to live under communist rule. The essays reflect on the similarities and differences between communist states in order to situate them in their socio-political and cultural contexts and to capture their changing nature over time. Where appropriate, they also reflect on how the fortunes of international communism were shaped by the wider economic, political, and cultural forces of the capitalist world. The Handbook provides an informative introduction for those new to the field and a comprehensive overview of the current state of scholarship for those seeking to deepen their understanding.