Mao's Last Revolution / Edition 1by Roderick MacFarquhar, Michael Schoenhals
Pub. Date: 08/28/2006
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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.
About the Author:
Roderick Macfarquhar is Leroy B. Williams Professor of History and Political Science, and Professor of Government, Harvard University
About the Author:
Michael Schoenhals is Professor in Modern Chinese Society at Lund University, Sweden
- Harvard University Press
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Table of Contents
“Is it working? Your belief system, that is. Is it really working? God’s intention all along has been for the believer’s life to work. From divine perspective toward terrestrial turf, God meant for his children to succeed. . .Are our Christian lives successful? Are they achieving and experiencing what Scripture said they would? In a recent sermon my son-in-law preached, Curt told us the only way we were going to impact the world and the next generation is to prove that our faith in Christ is real and that it works. For countless Christians I’m convinced it’s real. My concern is whether or not we have the fruit to suggest it works.”—Beth Moore; Believing God
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This book, by two distinguished scholars of modern Chinese politics, is a comprehensive history of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, an event initiated by the 'Great Helmsman', Chairman Mao Zedong. It ran for about a decade, spanning the years 1966-1976. The book features an introductory chapter which very succinctly outlines the motive for the upheaval, but the remainder of the book is an exhaustive catalogue of the defining events. Each and every political figure of even the most tangential importance to the Cultural Revolution is given abundant ink. While this is of great importance to serious students of modern China, the wealth of detail is daunting for the general reader searching for an explanatory but non-superficial history. The arcana of Chinese Communist Party internecine warfare are catalogued in excruciating detail, replete with all the bloated slogans and cant typical of that era in modern Marxism. The vast damage to the Chinese economy, the armed forces, the educational system and the Chinese social structure is highlighted. The dubious role played by Zho Enlai is also discussed in detail, as is the tumultuous career in CCP politics of Deng Xiaoping. The unplanned ascendency of the Peoples Liberation Army as a result of GCR policies eventually required the removal of Mao's planned successor, Lin Biao and his supporters in the PLA general's ranks. The authors note that, along with the tumult engendered by Mao's 'Great Leap Forward', the GCR was equally cataclysmic for China. Presumably, as a result of these two upheavals, the stage was set for a more pragmatic form of statecraft by Deng and his successors. Finally, the authors note that, along with Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, Mao will be remembered as one of the great tyrants and murderers of the 20th Century. In summary, this is a highly detailed work which is not for the casual reader.