The second volume in a trilogy which examines the politics, economics, culture and international relations of Chines from the mid-1950s to he mid-1960s, this volume tells the story of the Great Leap Forward -- Mao's utopian attempt to propel China economically and socially into the twenty-fist century by mobilizing his nation's greatest asset: its disciplined, manpower. The effort produced economic disaster and political dissension, and helped to precipitate the Sino-Soviet split. Today's leaders point to it as the beginning of two decades of national trauma, which ended only after the death of Mao and the purge of the Gang of Four. Those leaders have recently authorized the release of a mass of new documentation in the form of political reminiscences, economic statistics, and leaders' speeches. This volume is the first scholarly work to use the new material comprehensively, weaving it into the narrative along with the contemporary record and the revelations published in Red Guard newspapers during the cultural revolution. The result is the most detailed account and analysis to date of what went wrong and why.
"Tsou, one of the country's senior and most widely respected China scholars, has for more than a generation been producing timely and deeply informed essays on Chinese politics as it develops. Eight of these (from a wide variety of sources) are gathered here with a substantial new introduction. Tsou considers events not simply from the point of view of a widely read political scientist (even political philosopher) and a concerned Chinese, but also in the light of history, the dynamics of Marxism-Leninism, individual personalities, and humane realism."—Charles W. Hayford, Library Journal
The Cultural Revolution was a watershed event in the history of the People's Republic of China, the defining decade of half a century of communist rule. Before 1966, China was a typical communist state, with a command economy and a powerful party able to keep the population under control. But during the Cultural Revolution, in a move unprecedented in any communist country, Mao unleashed the Red Guards against the party. Tens of thousands of officials were humiliated, tortured, and even killed. Order had to be restored by the military, whose methods were often equally brutal. In a masterly book, Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals explain why Mao launched the Cultural Revolution, and show his Machiavellian role in masterminding it (which Chinese publications conceal). In often horrifying detail, they document the Hobbesian state that ensued. The movement veered out of control and terror paralyzed the country. Power struggles raged among Lin Biao, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, and Jiang Qing--Mao's wife and leader of the Gang of Four--while Mao often played one against the other. After Mao's death, in reaction to the killing and the chaos, Deng Xiaoping led China into a reform era in which capitalism flourishes and the party has lost its former authority. In its invaluable critical analysis of Chairman Mao and its brilliant portrait of a culture in turmoil, "Mao's Last Revolution" offers the most authoritative and compelling account to date of this seminal event in the history of China.
Rhetoric and Ritual in China's Cultural Revolution
Author: Daniel Leese
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Although many books have explored Mao's posthumous legacy, none has scrutinized the massive worship that was fostered around him during the Cultural Revolution. This book is the first to do so. By analyzing secret archival documents, Daniel Leese traces the history of the cult within the Communist Party and at the grassroots level. The party leadership's original intention was to develop a prominent brand symbol, which would compete with the nationalists' elevation of Chiang Kai-shek. However, they did not anticipate that Mao would use this symbolic power to mobilize Chinese youth to rebel against party bureaucracy itself. The result was anarchy and when the army was called in it relied on mandatory rituals of worship such as daily reading of the Little Red Book to restore order. Such fascinating detail sheds light not only on the personality cult of Mao, but also on hero-worship in other traditions.
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution occurred in the second decade after Mao Zedong and his comrades came to power in 1949. A comprehensive narrative account of this colossal event, written by Yan Jiaqi, one of the principal leaders of China's pro-democracy movement, and his wife, Gao Gao, a noted sociologist, appeared in Hong Kong in 1986 and was quickly banned by the Communist government. Not surprisingly, censorship and restricted circulation in China resulted in underground reproduction and serialization. The work was thus widely read, coveted, and appreciated by a populace who had just freed itself from the cultural drought and political dread of the event. Yan and Gao later spent two years revising and expanding their work. The present volume, Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution, is based on the revised edition and has been masterfully edited and translated by D. W. Y. Kwok in consultation with the authors. Following Professor Kwok's eloquent introduction and a short foreword in which the authors analyze the basic causes of the Cultural Revolution, Part One of the narrative focuses on the years 1965-1967. In two short years, Mao managed to turn public opinion against Liu Shaoqi, president of the Republic, and launch the Cultural Revolution. The reader is introduced to the Red Guards and encounters the cult of personality, the first resistance to the Cultural Revolution, the attack on Zhou Enlai, and the persecution and death of Liu Shaoqi. Part Two examines the rise and fall of Lin Biao during the years 1959-1971. Lin's bid for power, which began with the consolidation of his personal clique in the army and mass-level persecution in the late stages of theCultural Revolution, ended in a failed coup and his death in an air crash. Part Three follows Jiang Qing from 1966 to her arrest in 1976 for her part in instigating mass violence and the persecution of key figures, including Zhou Enlai. During this period, the political fortunes of Deng Xiaoping rose and fell for a second time, the first protest at Tiananmen Square in 1976 ended in a bloody suppression, and that same year the Gang of Four were arrested. Unlike social scientific treatments of political phenomena, Turbulent Decade includes little discussion of economics, still less of international relations, and no institutional analysis. Instead, the authors' fervent belief in the truthful telling of history through its leading personalities pervades the work.
Examines the radical Chinese Communist movement called the Cultural Revolution, a period of suppression so controversial in China, that the Chinese government forbids a full investigation into it even 50 years later. Original.
The Creation and Mass Consumption of a Personality Cult
Author: Melissa Schrift
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
An innovative look at the changing symbolic value of Chairman Mao badges, from the Cultural Revolution to the present day. Biography of a Chairman Mao Badge is a work of cultural history that contributes to our understanding not only of Chinese society but, more generally, of strategies people employ in responding to and transforming the meaning of propaganda campaigns and symbols.