The Cultural Revolution

The Cultural Revolution After The Economic Disaster Of The Great Leap Forward That Claimed Tens Of Millions Of Lives From 1958 1962, An Aging Mao Zedong Launched An Ambitious Scheme To Shore Up His Reputation And Eliminate Those He Viewed As A Threat To His Legacy The Stated Goal Of The Cultural Revolution Was To Purge The Country Of Bourgeois, Capitalistic Elements He Claimed Were Threatening Genuine Communist Ideology Young Students Formed The Red Guards, Vowing To Defend The Chairman To The Death, But Soon Rival Factions Started Fighting Each Other In The Streets With Semiautomatic Weapons In The Name Of Revolutionary Purity As The Country Descended Into Chaos, The Military Intervened, Turning China Into A Garrison State Marked By Bloody Purges That Crushed As Many As One In Fifty People The Cultural Revolution A People S History, 1962 1976 Draws For The First Time On Hundreds Of Previously Classified Party Documents, From Secret Police Reports To Unexpurgated Versions Of Leadership Speeches Frank Dik Tter Uses This Wealth Of Material To Undermine The Picture Of Complete Conformity That Is Often Supposed To Have Characterized The Last Years Of The Mao Era After The Army Itself Fell Victim To The Cultural Revolution, Ordinary People Used The Political Chaos To Resurrect The Market And Hollow Out The Party S Ideology In Short, They Buried Maoism By Showing How Economic Reform From Below Was An Unintended Consequence Of A Decade Of Violent Purges And Entrenched Fear, The Cultural Revolution Casts China S Most Tumultuous Era In A Wholly New Light.

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  • Hardcover
  • 432 pages
  • The Cultural Revolution
  • Frank Dikötter
  • English
  • 05 March 2018
  • 1632864215

10 thoughts on “The Cultural Revolution

  1. says:

    This volume is the third by Dik tter on the Mao era It is not entirely necessary to read the other two before this one, as it works well as a self contained unit.The term People s History usually implies a revisionist history of events, but Dik tter interprets this as a social as well as a political history Dik tter continues an ongoing trend in scholarly thinking the assertion that Mao was influenced by Stalin s programs of crash industrial development and agricultural collectivization, an This volume is the third by Dik tter on the Mao era It is not entirely necessary to read the other two before this one, as it works well as a self contained unit.The term People s History usually implies a revisionist history of events, but Dik tter interprets this as a social as well as a political history Dik tter continues an ongoing trend in scholarly thinking the assertion that Mao was influenced by Stalin s programs of crash industrial development and agricultural collectivization, and that his political maneuverings were attempts to prevent another Khrushchev from smearing his legacy, as Khrushchev denounced Stalin s crimes in 1956.The years immediately before the Cultural Revolution, from 1962 1966, were characterized by Mao s reassertion of power after the disaster of the Great...

  2. says:

    The final in a very good trilogy on the three phases of China under Mao I turned 17 when Mao died After his death I recall the trials of the Gang of Four even receiving coverage on the very limited news services in Brisbane Australia It was very exotic for want of a better word and in a faraway country I had not really given any thought to at the time It seemed such an odd name Gang of Four One had images of four young hoodlums holding up old ladies for the small change in their purses The final in a very good tri...

  3. says:

    This is a great book It s tremendously readable and astonishingly clear given the complexity of the events described When you re finished with it actually even before you re finished with it , you are smarter than when you started What else can you ask for in a book Please don t think I m saying that just because I won a hardcover copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.I saw a movie once where a character said that he preferred reading book reviews to books themselves because book review This is a great book It s tremendously readable and astonishingly clear given the complexity of the events described When you re finished with it actually even before you re finished with it , you are smarter than when you started What else can you ask for in a book Please don t think I m saying that just because I won a hardcover copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.I saw a movie once where a character said that he preferred reading book reviews to books themselves because book reviews not only told you what the book was ab...

  4. says:

    Dik tter has, with this book, completed his trilogy documenting the horrific and criminal betrayal of China s revolution of 1949 The sheer, unadulterated cynicism employed by Mao is shown to be principally in support of his manipulation of people around him If you stepped on his toe in 1934, you could be sure that he d remember and that you d pay for it somehow What you didn t know is that you might well be branded ...

  5. says:

    I am a tutor and am currently working with a Chinese gentleman, who lives in the US, on his English We talk for 1 1 2 hours per day and even Skype for a short time when he is in China One day he commented that it was the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution We discussed it a bit On the way home, thanks to Terry Gross and Fresh Air, I heard an interview with the author of this book and had to read it Part of the importance of this book is that it has new information and is not just a I am a tutor and am currently working with a Chinese gentleman, who lives in the US, on his English We talk for 1 1 2 hours per day and even Skype for a short time when he is in China One day he commented that it was the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution We discussed it a bit On the way home, thanks t...

  6. says:

    Frank Dik tter s The Cultural Revolution A People s History 1962 1976 completes the trilogy begun with 2010 s Mao s Great Famine and continued in 2013 with a prequel volume, The Tragedy of Liberation While I have not had the opportunity to read these earlier, highly regarded works, his narrative history of the Cultural Revolution manages to hold up well as an independent volume analyzing the period.Indeed, most Westerners will have certain images in mind regarding the Cultural Revolution, name Frank Dik tter s The Cultural Revolution A People s History 1962 1976 completes the trilogy begun with 2010 s Mao s Great Fa...

  7. says:

    I think this is the weakest book in Dik tter s cycle, but I don t necessarily think it s his fault I had a hard time following all of the events, and I guess that s the tl dr of the Cultural Revolution The rules seemingly change every week say the orthodoxy one day, get in trouble for it the next, recant, get reeducated, rinse, repeat When the left was ascendent in the US I thought maybe its postmodern wing would eventually be in a position to do these sorts o...

  8. says:

    The narrative opens after the 1962 great famine at the nadir of Mao s popularity The 1960s are divided into the blood soaked Red Years when the Red Guard had free reign to slaughter the so called bourgeois element and the Black Years, when the purge turned to within the party and millions had their lives destroyed followed by The Grey Years or 1970s marked by Nixon s visit.Graphic descriptions of the brutal Red Guard, an exclusive cadre of youths, evokes the Nazi era, which explains the p The narrative opens after the 1962 great famine at the nadir of Mao s popularity The 1960s are divided into the blood soaked Red Years when the Red Guard had free reign to slaughter the so called bourgeoi...

  9. says:

    Frank Dikotter s chronicle of the Chinese Cultural Revolution is splendid The Cultural Revolution is a popular history, showing how the masses shaped Maoism and eventually forced its destruction As one observer recorded in the book noted, the people decided they did not want to go on living the way they were doing, and they were setting up ways to het themselves out ...

  10. says:

    Getting through 321 pages of the Cultural Revolution is a true challenge The author includes lots of numbers and talks about the repetitive and seemingly never ending reality of purges Even now, I am confused a little bit about when did certain purges take place, who was persecuted and why, but I assume that is exactly the point Mao s Cultural Revolution was a one big mess If I were to change anything on this book, then to make it shorter andconcise in terms of wording , but otherwi Getting through 321 pages of the Cultural R...

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