The Chinese Cultural Revolution by Paul ClarkAn intriguing study of cultural life during a turbulent and formative decade in contemporary China, this book seeks to explode several myths about the Cultural Revolution (officially 1966-76). Through national and local examination of the full range of cultural forms (film, operas, dance, other stage arts, music, fine arts, literature, and even architecture), Clark argues against characterizing this decade as one of chaos and destruction. Rather, he finds that innovation and creativity, promotion of participation in cultural production, and a vigorous promotion of the modern were all typical of the Cultural Revolution. Using a range of previously little-used materials, Clark forces us to fundamentally reassess our understanding of the Cultural Revolution, a period which he sees as the product of innovation in conflict with the effort by political leaders to enforce a top-down modernity.
The End of the Maoist Era by Frederick C. Teiwes; Warren SunThis book launches an ambitious reexamination of the elite politics behind one of the most remarkable transformations in the late twentieth century. As the first part of a new interpretation of the evolution of Chinese politics during the years 1972-82, it provides a detailed study of the end of the Maoist era, demonstrating Mao's continuing dominance even as his ability to control events ebbed away. The tensions within the "gang of four," the different treatment of Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping, and the largely unexamined role of younger radicals are analyzed to reveal a view of the dynamic of elite politics that is at odds with accepted scholarship. The authors draw upon newly available documentary sources and extensive interviews with Chinese participants and historians to develop their challenging interpretation of one of the most poorly understood periods in the history of the People's Republic of China.
Turbulent Decade by Jiaqi Yan; Daniel W. Y. Kwok (Editor); Gao GaoYan Jiaqi, one of the principal leaders of China's pro-democracy movement, and his wife, Gao Gao, a noted sociologist, set out to write a comprehensive narrative account of the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution, which occurred in the second decade after Mao Zedong and his comrades came to power. It 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. It makes available for the first time in English Yan and Gao's remarkable record of the traumatic Cultural Revolution decade and remains the only single-volume narrative history of the revolution written from an independent and personal perspective. It is a sweeping historical account, notable for its moral courage, for its empathy, for the significance of the questions it addresses, and for its sobering, ultimately tragic view of human behavior.