The cultural revolution and how it shaped China – Ben Arnoldy

From the Christian Science Monitor:

P16AMany trends in today’s China have their roots in the late 1970s – the period after the nation had its slate wiped clean by the . Those cataclysmic years (1966-1976) offer insight into what pushed China’s pendulum toward capitalism and why hasn’t followed.

Or as the preface to a new history of that period, Mao’s Last Revolution by China scholars Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals states: “To understand the ‘why’ of modern-day China, one must understand the ‘what’ of the Cultural Revolution.”

The 462-page narrative (with nearly 200 pages of supplemental material) excels at detailing the how of the Cultural Revolution – how Chinese leader purged opponents, upended the lives of millions, and established a cult of personality (while yet remaining vague about what it all meant). [Full text]

Read also a review of the book from the Boston Globe.

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