Autocracy and China's Rebel Founding Emperors: Comparing Chairman Mao and Ming Taizu / Edition 384

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What kind of "ruler" was Mao Zedong? This question continues to intrigue analysts in China and the West long after the Great Helmsman's death. It is now common to hear Mao referred to as a modern-day "emperor." The authors argue that Mao can best be compared to a specific imperial predecessor, Ming Taizu, the fourteenth-century peasant rebel who founded the Ming dynasty. Both rulers created autocratic regimes that violently purged political enemies; both used the power of their own words to transform the masses. Utilizing a rich mix of analysis and new translations, the book begins by examining other imperial predecessors and the elements linking Mao and Taizu, as well as critiques of Western and Chinese scholarship. The authors conclude that Mao used anti-elitist rhetoric to gain popular support for heightened autocracy, while repressing genuine anti-statist critics. The book then presents translations with commentary of PRC scholars on Taizu and Mao, showing the evolution in Chinese thought toward both rulers from the Cultural Revolution to the Deng Xiaoping reform era.

Author Biography: Anita M. Andrew is assistant professor, department of history, Northern Illinois University, and editor of the journal "Ming Studies". John A. Rapp is professor and chair, department of political science, and founder of the Asian studies program, Beloit College.

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Editorial Reviews

China Quarterly
The parallels of Mao's career and that of Zhu are fascinating and instructive, and this thoughtful and well-documented book throws new light on them.
The China Journal
The authors of this book should be commended for taking on such a large and complex issue.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847695805
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 384
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Anita M. Andrew is assistant professor, Department of History, Northern Illinois University, and editor of the journal Ming Studies. John A. Rapp is professor and chair, Department of Political Science, and founder of the Asian studies program, Beloit College.

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Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Preface and Acknowledgments
Pt. I Comparing Chairman Mao and Ming Taizu 1
1 Mao and Imperial Autocracy: Previous Studies 7
2 Other Imperial Predecessors 13
3 Causes of the Similar Autocracy of Mao and Zhu 29
4 Maoism As Anti-Elitism: The Debates in China and the West 39
5 The Autocratic Rule of Zhu Yuanzhang (1368-1398) 49
6 Zhu Yuanzhang on the Rectification of Ming Society 59
7 Autocratic Elements in Mao's Theory and Practice 69
8 Similarities in the Words and Deeds of Mao and Zhu 85
Notes, Part I 91
Pt. II Critiques of Autocracy in the PRC 123
9 Zhu Yuanzhang 127
10 Shanghai Museum 133
11 Wang Hongjiang 141
12 Chen Xinquan 159
13 Chen Gaohua 179
14 Guo Houan 203
15 Mao Zedong 231
16 Shengwulian 235
17 Ma Yanwen 259
18 Wang Xizhe 275
19 Wang Ruoshui 297
20 Yan Jiaqi 321
Bibliography 327
Glossary 345
Index 353
About the Authors 361
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