The Chinese Cultural Revolution

Overview

One of history's most horrific political upheavals, the Chinese Cultural Revolution began in 1966, when the Chinese Communist Party officially launched the radical movement on the orders of its autocratic chairman, Mao Zedong. Mao intended the movement to revitalize China's revolutionary fervor while simultaneously accelerating the country's evolution into a true Communist Utopia. China's young people became the advance guard for this new revolution, forming paramilitary Red Guard units. These adolescent shock ...

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Overview

One of history's most horrific political upheavals, the Chinese Cultural Revolution began in 1966, when the Chinese Communist Party officially launched the radical movement on the orders of its autocratic chairman, Mao Zedong. Mao intended the movement to revitalize China's revolutionary fervor while simultaneously accelerating the country's evolution into a true Communist Utopia. China's young people became the advance guard for this new revolution, forming paramilitary Red Guard units. These adolescent shock troops humiliated, beat, and murdered teachers, intellectuals, local party officials, and others whom they judged to be insufficiently devoted to Mao and his radical ideals. By the time the Cultural Revolution finally ended in 1976, it had claimed the lives of some 3 to 4 million Chinese and left millions more physically or psychologically scarred.

Milestones In Modern World History introduces students to seminal historical events that helped shape the modern world. Bolstered by biographical sketches, illustrations, photographs, excerpts from primary source documents, and first-person narratives, this curriculum-based series is ideal for students writing reports.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Spanning from 1966 until Mao's death a decade later, China's cultural revolution remains "one of history's most horrific political and social upheavals." Starting with a brief history of 20th-century China, the book discusses the political paranoia and machinations that set it into motion. Slavicek clearly explains this complex and confusing time for readers with little to no background in modern Chinese history, covering the social, economic, and political aspects of the era. The book is at its best when explaining Mao's political maneuvering. Numerous pull-out boxes provide context about and excerpts from primary sources. The final chapter offers a short overview of post-Mao China, explaining the country's economic growth and continued political oppression. In addition to the cited academic sources, the further-reading list gives many books and Web sites appropriate for students. With the number of memoirs coming out for middle grade and teen readers, such as Moying Li's Snow Falling in Spring (Farrar, 2008), Da Chen's China's Son: Growing Up in the Cultural Revolution (Delacorte, 2001), and Ji-li Jiang's Red Scarf Girl (HarperCollins, 1997), this welcome title provides much-needed context.—Jennifer Rothschild, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, Oxon Hill, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604132786
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Series: Milestones in Modern World History Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

1 "A Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party" 7

2 The Rise of Mao Zedong 13

3 Setting the Stage 27

4 The Cultural Revolution Begins 41

5 Mao's Young Generals 57

6 Reining In the Left 72

7 Final Years 86

8 The Cultural Revolutions Legacy 98

Chronology and Timeline 112

Notes 115

Bibliography 119

Further Resources 121

Picture Credits 123

Index 124

About the Author 128

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