By Timothy Cheek
Mao Zedong's political profession spanned greater than part a century. the tips he championed reworked one of many biggest international locations on the earth and encouraged progressive events the world over. Even this present day Mao lives on in China, the place he's seemed via many as a near-mythical determine, and within the West, the place a burgeoning literature keeps to discuss his reminiscence. during this ebook, prime students from varied generations and worldwide provide a severe assessment of the lifestyles and legacy of China's most renowned - a few may say notorious - son. within the first part, chapters discover the old and political context of Mao's emergence as a tender guy and progressive within the early 20th century. via this era it truly is attainable to check the character of Mao's ideology in its purest shape and to work out why it used to be appealing to such a lot of. This part additionally chronicles the most occasions of his existence and person facets of that lifestyles: his key relationships with allies and foes, his fans and his public character, his philosophy, and his courting with ladies. within the ultimate half, chapters debate the confident and risks of his legacy; in China Mao has turn into a metaphor for the guarantees and betrayals of the 20th century, in constructing nations he is still a beacon of progressive wish for a few, and within the West Mao remains to be the reflect of our hopes and fears. The ebook brings the scholarship on Mao brand new, and its replacement views equip readers to evaluate for themselves the character of this mercurial determine and his value in smooth chinese language heritage.
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Extra resources for A Critical Introduction to Mao
Russian advisors guided the modern sector, and Stalin lent (but did not give) funds to help rebuild the war-torn nation. The Korean War came upon the new government almost immediately – in June 1950. 13 Yet, life for most Chinese was better than it had been in living memory. 14 Wasteful bureaucratism, the limits of the Stalinist economic model, and restiveness among the working peoples and, of course, a critical intelligentsia bedeviled the CCP leadership. Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin – communism’s revered leader – in his 1956 secret speech scandalized CCP leaders.
21 16 Timothy Cheek Memory and Meaning: Historical Significance and Contested Legacies Assessments of Mao are hotly contested – the contrast at the start of this chapter between Edgar Snow’s idealization and Li Zhisui’s demonization is just the tip of the iceberg because these two views represent the extremes. Understanding Mao or any major historical figure is tied not only to problems of data and scholarly interpretation but also to the “story” put forward by interested parties, particularly the nationstate that claims ownership of that historic figure.
The Rectification Movement of 1942–44 implemented the mass line by providing noble goals of public service (which distinguishes the CCP, then, from Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge), the means to inculcate those goals among administrators (party and government cadres), and mechanisms to test the level of success in their implementation. Used well, rectification provides one way to inform, guide, and control a revolutionary regime; used badly, it has led to the excesses of the Cultural Revolution and the Killing Fields.
A Critical Introduction to Mao by Timothy Cheek