The Origins of the Cultural Revolution: Volume 3: The Coming of the Cataclysm 1961-1966 (Hardback)
  • The Origins of the Cultural Revolution: Volume 3: The Coming of the Cataclysm 1961-1966 (Hardback)
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The Origins of the Cultural Revolution: Volume 3: The Coming of the Cataclysm 1961-1966 (Hardback)

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£237.50
Hardback 754 Pages / Published: 02/10/1997
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This is the final volume in a trilogy which examines the politics, personalities, economics, culture, and international relations of China from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s. Roderick MacFarquhar is the first to use a multitude of new Chinese sources to answer the question: Why did Chairman Mao Zedong launch the Cultural Revolution which plunged China into chaos and almost destroyed its Communist Party? Volume 3 begins with the great famine of the early 1960s which resulted in tens of millions of deaths, setting in train a series of emergency measures which increasingly divided Mao from his comrades-in-arms. The Chairman's anger that they were prepared to adopt 'capitalist' methods to rescue the country was sharpened by his belief that Moscow was denouncing his revolutionary diplomacy because the Soviet leadership had gone capitalist and sold out to the 'imperialist' West. From 1961 to 1966, the increasingly urgent question for Mao was how to prevent a similar revolutionary deterioration in China. The Cultural Revolution, in which tens of thousands of loyal party veterans were publicly disgraced to make way for a supposedly more leftist generation of Red Guards, was his answer. Ironically, after it all ended with Mao's death, one survivor, Deng Xiaoping, was so appalled at the destructiveness of the Chairman's final cataclysm that he actually did turn to capitalism to revive the country. This volume is the first scholarly work for twenty years to focus on the whole gamut of events - political, economic, intellectual, military, and international - in the years leading up to the Cultural Revolution and makes use of a multitude of Chinese documentary, biographical, and historical works that have only appeared in the last decade.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192149978
Number of pages: 754
Weight: 1040 g
Dimensions: 225 x 145 x 46 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Professor MacFarquhar's account throughout is necessarily very detailed and his analysis is consistently thorough. It is extremely well written, with a lively style befitting the unpredictability and excitement of the events described ... it deserves to be read not only by specialists but also by students and others with a more general interest in modern China. Kenneth C. Walker, Asian Affairs
This third massive volume completes what is perhaps the most ambitious effort yet undertaken to unravel why and how this great and confusing event came about. Despite the enormous amount of information MAcFarquhar has unearthed, much of it new, he is unable to shed light on the psychology of the leaders. As MacFarquhar makes clear, many terrible things which came to the attention of the world during the Cultural Revolution had started long before. * Jasper Becker - London Review of Books *
MacFarquhar's narrative is unflaggingly exciting... His character-drawing is convincing; dramatic turning-points are made the most of; the material factors are firmly grasped... the concluding volume of a trilogy designed to chart the background of the Cultural Revolution. It has had the great advantage... of being able to make use of a flood of new or newly accessible informaqtion from Chinese sources. * Ethical Imperialism 65 *

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