The Saga of Anthropology in China: From Malinowski to Moscow to Mao

By Gregory Eliyu Guldin | Go to book overview

Chapter 10

Disciplinary
Deconstruction—
The Cultural Revolution
The next turn in China's political road would wreak havoc on Liang Zhaotao's orderly domestic and academic life. For intellectuals, the impact of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution would be even greater than that of the Anti-Rightist Campaign had been, for it would last longer, involve more people, and reach an unimaginable frenzy of violence and intimidation. Beginning with veiled attacks on opposing factions through criticism of literary works in 1965, by the next year events had gained enough momentum to sustain a prolonged three-year revolutionary upheaval of the society. Although some calm and order would be restored to China by the spring of 1969,
as a period of ideological extremism, routinized oppression, gross mismanagement, and egregious misrule, [the Cultural Revolution] dragged on for ten [years], ending only in the fall of 1976 with the death of Mao Zedong and the arrest of the Gang of Four. It left in its wake a wounded, crippled society. The world's most populous nation lay in shambles. (Thurston 1987:xix)

Some Chinese, such as Lin Yaohua (pers. comm.), would further argue that the Cultural Revolution did not end until 1978, when Hua Guofeng was removed from office and the Party officially embraced policies favoring modernization and reform.

-183-

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