Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution

Synopsis

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution occurred in the second decade after Mao Zedong and his comrades came to power in 1949. A comprehensive narrative account of this colossal event, written by Yan Jiaqi, one of the principal leaders of China's pro-democracy movement, and his wife, Gao Gao, a noted sociologist, appeared in Hong Kong in 1986 and was quickly banned by the Communist government. Not surprisingly, censorship and restricted circulation in China resulted in underground reproduction and serialization. The work was thus widely read, coveted, and appreciated by a populace who had just freed itself from the cultural drought and political dread of the event. Yan and Gao later spent two years revising and expanding their work. The present volume, Turbulent Decade: A History of the Cultural Revolution, is based on the revised edition and has been masterfully edited and translated by D. W. Y. Kwok in consultation with the authors. Following Professor Kwok's eloquent introduction and a shortforeword in which the authors analyze the basic causes of the Cultural Revolution, Part One of the narrative focuses on the years 1965-1967. In two short years, Mao managed to turn public opinion against Liu Shaoqi, president of the Republic, and launch the Cultural Revolution. The reader is introduced to the Red Guards and encounters the cult of personality, the first resistance to the Cultural Revolution, the attack on Zhou Enlai, and the persecution and death of Liu Shaoqi. Part Two examines the rise and fall of Lin Biao during the years 1959-1971. Lin's bid for power, which began with the consolidation of his personal clique in the army and mass-level persecution in the late stages of theCultural Revolution, ended in a failed coup and his death in an air crash. Part Three follows Jiang Qing from 1966 to her arrest in 1976 for her part in instigating mass violence and the persecution of key figures, including Z

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Honolulu
Publication year:
  • 1996