By Timothy Cheek
Mao Zedong's political occupation spanned greater than part a century. the information he championed remodeled one of many greatest international locations on the earth and encouraged innovative pursuits the world over. Even at the present time Mao lives on in China, the place he's appeared by means of many as a near-mythical determine, and within the West, the place a burgeoning literature maintains to discuss his reminiscence. during this e-book, top students from diversified generations and all over the world provide a serious assessment of the existence and legacy of China's most famed - a few could 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 truly is attainable to envision the character of Mao's ideology in its purest shape and to work out why it used to be beautiful to such a lot of. This part additionally chronicles the most occasions of his lifestyles 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 girls. within the ultimate half, chapters debate the confident and hazards of his legacy; in China Mao has develop into a metaphor for the guarantees and betrayals of the 20 th century, in constructing nations he continues to be a beacon of progressive wish for a few, and within the West Mao remains to be the replicate of our hopes and fears. The e-book 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 importance in glossy chinese language background.
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Additional resources for A Critical Introduction to Mao
The dark side of the mass line was the Red Guards and the popular terror of the Cultural Revolution. Second, the CCP under Mao applied party education far more thoroughly than any other communist movement. The Rectification Movement of 1942–44 implemented the mass line by providing noble goals of public service (which distinguishes the CCP, then, from Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge), the means to inculcate those goals among administrators (party and government cadres), and mechanisms to test the level of success in their implementation.
33 Peronism – the economic, political, and social ideology called Justicialismo (social justice) associated with the rule of Juan Domingo Peron in Argentina at mid-century – is the obvious point of comparison. See Steven Levitsky, Transforming Labor-Based Parties in Latin America: Argentine Peronism in Comparative Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003). 32 Mao, Revolution, and Memory 21 and avoid criticism. 35 Scholars now use Mao in most cases strategically (to hammer home a point or to shield themselves from political criticism), but more important, Mao is often not used at all in intellectual debate and discussion of public issues.
As I noted before, the pluralization of public life in China defines the contemporary period. Mao allowed claims to be made that he was the only “god” in the Cultural Revolution. Now, however, Mao is embraced in the pantheon of deified human greats from ancient generals to particularly efficacious (and especially dangerous) emperors. Not all popular-culture Maos are apolitical. Among the huge underclass of migrant workers in China – now generally estimated to be around 150 million people – Mao stands as a contrasting example with the current leadership.
A Critical Introduction to Mao by Timothy Cheek