The Battle for China's Past: Mao and the Cultural Revolution

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    Mobo Gao

    Publisher: Pluto Books

    Year: 2008

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 240 pages

    ISBN: 9780745327808

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A controversial polemic countering modern revisionist narratives demonising the Mao regime.

Shows that the Mao era was benficial for most Chinese citizens

"A powerful mixture of political passion and original research, a brave polemic against the fashionable view on China. ... Aims a knockout blow at Jung Chang’s recent book on Mao, which Bush and the conservatives rave-reviewed." Gregor Benton, Professor of Chinese History, University of Cardiff

"This important book opens a much needed window onto Chinese perceptions of the country's post-Mao direction. ... Highlights the renewal of popular support for socialism and the growing opposition to contemporary state policies." Martin Hart-Landsberg, Professor of Economics, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon

Mao and his policies have long been demonized in the West, with the Cultural Revolution considered a fundamental violation of human rights.

As China embraces capitalism, the Mao era is being denigrated by the Chinese political and intellectual elite. This book tackles the extremely negative depiction of China under Mao in recent publications and argues that most people in China, including the rural poor and the urban working class, actually benefited from Mao's policies. Under Mao there was a comprehensive welfare system for the urban poor and basic health and education provision in rural areas. These policies are being reversed in the current rush towards capitalism.

Offering a critical analysis of mainstream accounts of the Mao era and the Cultural Revolution, this book sets the record straight, making a convincing argument for the positive effects of Mao's policies on the well-being of the Chinese people.

About the Author

Mobo Gao is Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Adelaide and the author of Constructing China (Pluto, 2018), The Battle for China's Past (Pluto, 2008).

What People Are Saying
"A powerful mixture of political passion and original research, a brave polemic against the fashionable view on China." Gregor Benton, Professor of Chinese History, University of Cardiff
"Opens a much needed window onto Chinese perceptions of the country¹s post-Mao direction." Martin Hart-Landsberg, Professor of Economics, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon
Table of Contents
Introduction
1. Debating the Cultural Revolution
2. Constructing History: Memories, Values and Identity
3. Constructing History: Memoirs, Autobiographies and Biographies in Chinese
4. Mao, the Unknown Story: An Intellectual Scandal
5. Mao: the Known Story and the Logic of Denial
6. How a Medical Doctor Doctors History: A Case Study of Li Zhisui
7. Challenging the Hegemony: Contrary Narratives in the E-Media (I)-Mao and the Cultural Revolution
8. Challenging the Hegemony: Contrary Narratives in the E-Media (II)-the Mao Era
9. The Problem of Rural-Urban Divide in Pursuit of Modernity: Values and Attitudes
10. Battle of China's history: Seeing the Past from the Present
Conclusion Truth and Belief Values of Socialism and China's Future Direction
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Tags: actually existing socialism ....... anticapitalism ....... china ....... history ....... maoism & marxism-leninism ....... Mobo Gao ....... Pluto Books .......