Mao's Last Revolution

By Roderick Macfarquhar; Michael Schoenhals | Go to book overview

Preface

This book has had a long gestation. I started chronicling China's Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) while it was taking place, for a variety of mainly British newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals as well as BBC TV and Radio. In 1968, I began researching the origins of this political convulsion. Three decades later I published the last volume in what had turned into a trilogy on the subject. In the meanwhile I had joined the Harvard faculty, and shortly after I arrived there, in the mid-1980s, a very distinguished historian asked me to give a course on the Cultural Revolution in a section of Harvard College's Core Program called Historical Study B. The formal remit of this section is to "focus closely on the documented details of some central historical event or transformation … sufficiently delimited in time to allow concentrated study of primary source materials." My colleague explained that the assumption was that all the documentation was in and all emotion had been spent, thus providing the possibility of greater objectivity. I explained that very few reliable primary materials were available, and that in China, and even among some Western China scholars, emotions still ran deep over the events of the tumultuous Cultural Revolution decade. However, by this time I had taken on the co-editorship with John K. Fairbank of the final two volumes of the Cambridge History of China, covering the People's Republic of China, and had undertaken to write a chapter covering most of the Cultural Revolution period, and eventually I decided I might as well teach the course anyway. The course was unexpectedly popular and required a sourcebook of readings for the students. Preparing it, I found that most of the English-language materials had been written in the 1970s and early 1980s, mainly on the basis of the materials issued during the Cultural Revolution by Mao and his victorious leftist coalition. Significant materials were finally beginning to emerge in Chinese to permit presentation of a more balanced picture of events, steering between the Scylla of the Maoist radicals and the Charybdis of the Deng-era survivors.

-ix-

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Mao's Last Revolution
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: The First Salvos 14
  • 2: The Siege of Beijing 32
  • 3: Confusion on Campuses 52
  • 4: The Fifty Days 66
  • 5: Mao's New Successor 86
  • 6: The Red Guards 102
  • 7: Red Terror 117
  • 8: Confusion Nationwide 132
  • 9: Shanghai's [January Storm] 155
  • 10: Seizing Power 170
  • 11: The Last Stand of the Old Guard 184
  • 12: The Wuhan Incident 199
  • 13: The May 16 Conspiracy 221
  • 14: The End of the Red Guards 239
  • 15: Cleansing the Class Ranks 253
  • 16: Dispatching Liu Shaoqi 273
  • 17: The Congress of Victors 285
  • 18: War Scares 308
  • 19: The Defection and Death of Lin Biao 324
  • 20: Mao Becalmed 337
  • 21: Zhou Under Pressure 358
  • 22: Deng Xiaoping Takes Over 379
  • 23: The Gang of Four Emerges 396
  • 24: The Tiananmen Incident of 1976 413
  • 25: The Last Days of Chairman Mao 431
  • Conclusion 450
  • Glossary of Names and Identities 465
  • A Note on Sources 479
  • Notes 483
  • Bibliography 611
  • Illustration Credits 659
  • Index 661
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