By Timothy Cheek
Mao Zedong's political profession spanned greater than part a century. the tips he championed reworked one of many greatest countries on the earth and encouraged innovative events the world over. Even at the present time Mao lives on in China, the place he's appeared through many as a near-mythical determine, and within the West, the place a burgeoning literature keeps to discuss his reminiscence. during this ebook, top students from varied generations and all over the world supply a severe evaluate of the existence and legacy of China's most famed - 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 innovative 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 was once appealing to such a lot of. This part additionally chronicles the most occasions of his existence and person elements of that lifestyles: his key relationships with allies and foes, his fans and his public character, his philosophy, and his dating with ladies. within the ultimate half, chapters debate the optimistic and dangers of his legacy; in China Mao has turn into a metaphor for the guarantees and betrayals of the 20 th century, in constructing nations he is still a beacon of progressive wish for a few, and within the West Mao is still the reflect of our hopes and fears. The ebook brings the scholarship on Mao modern, and its replacement views equip readers to evaluate for themselves the character of this mercurial determine and his importance in smooth chinese language heritage.
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Additional info for A Critical Introduction to Mao
12 Mao, Revolution, and Memory 11 a hundred flowers bloom” and to criticize the ruling CCP. This was an unprecedented act for a ruling Communist Party and was vigorously opposed by Mao’s senior colleagues. This was Mao’s last great public ideological effort that had some promise of success. Because of his profound authority among his followers (see Chapter 6), only Mao could have enforced the toleration of critical public debate in a socialist state. 15 By defending loyal opposition to party bureaucratism and abuses of power as “contradictions among the people” in contrast to “contradictions with the enemy,” Mao went further than even the most daring of the Eastern European regimes in the de-Stalinization of 1956.
42 Hundreds of other examples of workers using Mao portraits, badges, quotations on banners. and even drawings of Mao on the sidewalk outside a factory from which one has been fired (as one worker in Henan did to good effect – he got his job back) can be cited. Each instance shows a combination of using Mao to protect protestors from official violence or retribution and to shame officials into honoring what the workers see as the social contract between the socialist state and workers that has been violated under China’s new economic reforms.
Thus we rarely see the expression of these tales of suffering blamed on Mao himself published in China. We do, however, see them published abroad, and they are increasing. 48 Maoist China has yet to face its truth and reconciliation process. In all, Mao’s memory in China today is a two-edged sword of legitimacy for the CCP: an ambivalent symbol of national pride for educated Chinese, a cool brand for middle-class youth, and a talisman of selfworth for China’s disposed who have suffered under reform and globalization.
A Critical Introduction to Mao by Timothy Cheek