A Critical Introduction to Mao by Timothy Cheek

By Timothy Cheek

Mao Zedong's political profession spanned greater than part a century. the guidelines he championed reworked one of many biggest countries on the earth and encouraged innovative pursuits internationally. Even this present day Mao lives on in China, the place he's looked by means of many as a near-mythical determine, and within the West, the place a burgeoning literature keeps to discuss his reminiscence. during this e-book, top students from assorted generations and around the globe provide a severe assessment of the existence and legacy of China's most famed - a few might say notorious - son. within the first part, chapters discover the historic and political context of Mao's emergence as a tender guy and innovative within the early 20th century. via this era it really is attainable to ascertain the character of Mao's ideology in its purest shape and to determine why it used to be appealing to such a lot of. This part additionally chronicles the most occasions of his lifestyles and person facets of that existence: his key relationships with allies and foes, his fans and his public personality, his philosophy, and his dating with girls. within the ultimate half, chapters debate the confident and disadvantages of his legacy; in China Mao has turn into a metaphor for the guarantees and betrayals of the 20 th century, in constructing international locations he is still a beacon of progressive desire for a few, and within the West Mao remains to be the replicate of our hopes and fears. The ebook brings the scholarship on Mao brand new, and its replacement views equip readers to evaluate for themselves the character of this mercurial determine and his value in glossy chinese language heritage.

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Additional info for A Critical Introduction to Mao

Sample text

Politically, Maoism is the CCP’s orthodoxy. It has been “enriched” by doctrinal additions from Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and now China’s current leader, Hu Jintao. 32 This spin on the party platform focuses on the interests of the overwhelming majority of Chinese. It shifts the burning issues confronting the interior provinces, the downtrodden, and the losers of reform to front and center. The new emphasis on “Harmonious Society,” however, will remind those familiar with Latin American history of other forms of authoritarian populism.

He was born and raised in Shaoshan, Xingtan County, in Hunan Province. His father was a prosperous farmer and was able to pay to send Mao to school. Thus Mao was not a peasant in the simple sense but was most emphatically a rural person who came to believe that the heart of China lay in the villages, not the cities. Mao soaked up the rich array of May Fourth translations from European and Japanese sources, including socialist and soon Russian Marxist writings. ) He chose to be a revolutionary and set off – first to Changsha (the capital of Hunan) and then to Beijing and Shanghai – to find that revolution.

Today, most people in China do not claim to follow Mao’s explicit teachings, nor do they think the current party is a noble example of Mao’s or anyone’s ideals. Yet most people in China appear to accept the assumptions in this story about China’s national identity, about the role of imperialism in China’s history and present, and about the value of maintaining and improving this thing called China. Increasingly, moreover, China’s middle classes accept the additional story in Maoism – the story of rising China: China was great, China was put down, China is rising again.

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