Mao's Last Revolution

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, Jun 30, 2009 - History - 752 pages
2 Reviews

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.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

I've become a little skeptical of large and sweeping "history of everything" books as I've become older, but this work is an exception as the authors use the most current documentation to try and sort ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LamSon - LibraryThing

Mao's Last Revolution is a very good look at the Cultural Revolution and immediate aftermath. Mao kept control through a series of 'one liners' and pithy sayings that had little value in running a ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
1 The First Salvos
14
2 The Siege of Beijing
32
3 Confusion on Campuses
52
4 The Fifty Days
66
5 Maos New Successor
86
6 The Red Guards
102
7 Red Terror
117
17 The Congress of Victors
285
18 War Scares
308
19 The Defection and Death of Lin Biao
324
20 Mao Becalmed
337
21 Zhou under Pressure
358
22 Deng Xiaoping Takes Over
379
23 The Gang of Four Emerges
396
24 The Tiananmen Incident of 1976
413

8 Confusion Nationwide
132
9 Shanghais January Storm
155
10 Seizing Power
170
11 The Last Stand of the Old Guard
184
12 The Wuhan Incident
199
13 The May 16 Conspiracy
221
14 The End of the Red Guards
239
15 Cleansing the Class Ranks
253
16 Dispatching Liu Shaoqi
273
25 The Last Days of Chairman Mao
431
Conclusion
450
Glossary of Names and Identities
465
A Note on Sources
479
Notes
483
Bibliography
611
Illustration Credits
659
Index
661
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Roderick MacFarquhar is Leroy B. Williams Professor of History and Political Science, and Professor of Government, Harvard University.

Michael Schoenhals is Professor of Chinese at Chinese Lund University, Sweden.

Bibliographic information