Mao's Great Famine

The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-62
Author: Frank Dikötter
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 0747595089
Category: History
Page: 420
View: 1085
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An unprecedented, groundbreaking history of China's Great Famine that recasts the era of Mao Zedong and the history of the People's Republic of China.

Mao's Great Famine

The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962
Author: Frank Dikötter
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9780802779281
Category: History
Page: 448
View: 5003
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Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize An unprecedented, groundbreaking history of China's Great Famine that recasts the era of Mao Zedong and the history of the People's Republic of China. "Between 1958 and 1962, China descended into hell. Mao Zedong threw his country into a frenzy with the Great Leap Forward, an attempt to catch up to and overtake Britain in less than 15 years The experiment ended in the greatest catastrophe the country had ever known, destroying tens of millions of lives." So opens Frank Dikötter's riveting, magnificently detailed chronicle of an era in Chinese history much speculated about but never before fully documented because access to Communist Party archives has long been restricted to all but the most trusted historians. A new archive law has opened up thousands of central and provincial documents that "fundamentally change the way one can study the Maoist era." Dikötter makes clear, as nobody has before, that far from being the program that would lift the country among the world's superpowers and prove the power of Communism, as Mao imagined, the Great Leap Forward transformed the country in the other direction. It became the site not only of "one of the most deadly mass killings of human history,"--at least 45 million people were worked, starved, or beaten to death--but also of "the greatest demolition of real estate in human history," as up to one-third of all housing was turned into rubble). The experiment was a catastrophe for the natural world as well, as the land was savaged in the maniacal pursuit of steel and other industrial accomplishments. In a powerful mesghing of exhaustive research in Chinese archives and narrative drive, Dikötter for the first time links up what happened in the corridors of power-the vicious backstabbing and bullying tactics that took place among party leaders-with the everyday experiences of ordinary people, giving voice to the dead and disenfranchised. His magisterial account recasts the history of the People's Republic of China.

Mao's Great Famine

The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-62
Author: Frank Dikötter
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 0747595089
Category: History
Page: 420
View: 8855
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An unprecedented, groundbreaking history of China's Great Famine that recasts the era of Mao Zedong and the history of the People's Republic of China.

The Tragedy of Liberation

A History of the Chinese Revolution 1945-1957
Author: Frank Dikötter
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408837595
Category: History
Page: 400
View: 1378
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In 1949 Mao Zedong hoisted the red flag over Beijing's Forbidden City. Instead of liberating the country, the communists destroyed the old order and replaced it with a repressive system that would dominate every aspect of Chinese life. In an epic of revolution and violence which draws on newly opened party archives, interviews and memoirs, Frank Dikötter interweaves the stories of millions of ordinary people with the brutal politics of Mao's court. A gripping account of how people from all walks of life were caught up in a tragedy that sent at least five million civilians to their deaths.

Tombstone

The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962
Author: Yang Jisheng
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1466827793
Category: History
Page: 656
View: 9206
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The much-anticipated definitive account of China's Great Famine An estimated thirty-six million Chinese men, women, and children starved to death during China's Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s and early '60s. One of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century, the famine is poorly understood, and in China is still euphemistically referred to as "the three years of natural disaster." As a journalist with privileged access to official and unofficial sources, Yang Jisheng spent twenty years piecing together the events that led to mass nationwide starvation, including the death of his own father. Finding no natural causes, Yang attributes responsibility for the deaths to China's totalitarian system and the refusal of officials at every level to value human life over ideology and self-interest. Tombstone is a testament to inhumanity and occasional heroism that pits collective memory against the historical amnesia imposed by those in power. Stunning in scale and arresting in its detailed account of the staggering human cost of this tragedy, Tombstone is written both as a memorial to the lives lost—an enduring tombstone in memory of the dead—and in hopeful anticipation of the final demise of the totalitarian system. Ian Johnson, writing in The New York Review of Books, called the Chinese edition of Tombstone "groundbreaking . . . One of the most important books to come out of China in recent years."

Hungry Ghosts

Mao's Secret Famine
Author: Jasper Becker
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780805056686
Category: History
Page: 380
View: 1099
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Exposes the horrible result of Mao's attempted utopian engineering in China between 1958 and 1962, uncovering a bloody trail of terror, cannibalism, torture, and murder

Forgotten Voices of Mao's Great Famine, 1958-1962

An Oral History
Author: Xun Zhou
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300184042
Category: History
Page: 315
View: 5938
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A powerful account of China’s Great Famine as told through the voices of those who survived it

The Cultural Revolution

A People's History, 1962Â?1976
Author: Frank Dikötter
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1408856514
Category: History
Page: 432
View: 2677
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Acclaimed by the Daily Mail as 'definitive and harrowing' , this is the final volume of 'The People's Trilogy', begun by the Samuel Johnson prize-winning Mao's Great Famine. After the economic disaster of the Great Leap Forward that claimed tens of millions of lives between 1958 and 1962, an ageing Mao launched an ambitious scheme to shore up his reputation and eliminate those he viewed as a threat to his legacy. The stated goal of the Cultural Revolution was to purge the country of bourgeois, capitalist elements he claimed were threatening genuine communist ideology. But the Chairman also used the Cultural Revolution to turn on his colleagues, some of them longstanding comrades-in-arms, subjecting them to public humiliation, imprisonment and torture. Young students formed Red Guards, vowing to defend the Chairman to the death, but soon rival factions started fighting each other in the streets with semi-automatic weapons in the name of revolutionary purity. As the country descended into chaos, the military intervened, turning China into a garrison state marked by bloody purges that crushed as many as one in fifty people. When the army itself fell victim to the Cultural Revolution, ordinary people used the political chaos to resurrect the marked and hollow out the party's ideology. In short, they buried Maoism. In-depth interviews and archival research at last give voice to the people and the complex choices they faced, undermining the picture of conformity that is often understood to have characterised the last years of Mao's regime. By demonstrating that decollectivisation from below was an unintended consequence of a decade of violent purges and entrenched fear, Frank Dikotter casts China's most tumultuous era in a wholly new light. Written with unprecedented access to previously classified party documents from secret police reports to unexpurgated versions of leadership speeches, this third chapter in Frank Dikotter's extraordinarily lucid and ground-breaking 'People's Trilogy' is a devastating reassessment of the history of the People's Republic of China.

The Great Famine in China, 1958-1962

A Documentary History
Author: Xun Zhou
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300175183
Category: History
Page: 204
View: 6414
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Drawing on previously closed archives that have since been made inaccessible again, this volume contains the most crucial primary documents concerning the fate of the Chinese peasantry between 1957 and 1962, covering everything from cannibalism and selective killing to mass murder.

Mao's Last Revolution


Author: Roderick MACFARQUHAR,Michael Schoenhals
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674040414
Category: History
Page: 752
View: 2583
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The Cultural Revolution was a watershed event in the history of the People's Republic of China, the defining decade of half a century of communist rule. Before 1966, China was a typical communist state, with a command economy and a powerful party able to keep the population under control. But during the Cultural Revolution, in a move unprecedented in any communist country, Mao unleashed the Red Guards against the party. Tens of thousands of officials were humiliated, tortured, and even killed. Order had to be restored by the military, whose methods were often equally brutal. In a masterly book, Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals explain why Mao launched the Cultural Revolution, and show his Machiavellian role in masterminding it (which Chinese publications conceal). In often horrifying detail, they document the Hobbesian state that ensued. The movement veered out of control and terror paralyzed the country. Power struggles raged among Lin Biao, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, and Jiang Qing--Mao's wife and leader of the Gang of Four--while Mao often played one against the other. After Mao's death, in reaction to the killing and the chaos, Deng Xiaoping led China into a reform era in which capitalism flourishes and the party has lost its former authority. In its invaluable critical analysis of Chairman Mao and its brilliant portrait of a culture in turmoil, "Mao's Last Revolution" offers the most authoritative and compelling account to date of this seminal event in the history of China.

China's Road to Disaster: Mao, Central Politicians and Provincial Leaders in the Great Leap Forward, 1955-59

Mao, Central Politicians and Provincial Leaders in the Great Leap Forward, 1955-59
Author: Frederick C Teiwes,Warren Sun
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315502798
Category: Political Science
Page: 376
View: 3139
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This text analyzes the dramatic shifts in Chinese Communist Party economic policy during the mid to late 1950s which eventually resulted in 30 to 45 million deaths through starvation as a result of the failed policies of the Great Leap Forward. Teiwes examines both the substance and the process of economic policy-making in that period, explaining how the rational policies of opposing rash advance in 1956-57 gave way to the fanciful policies of the Great Leap, and assessing responsibility for the failure to adjust adequately those policies even as signs of disaster began to reach higher level decision makers. In telling this story, Teiwes focuses on key participants in the process throughout both "rational" and "utopian" phases - Mao, other top leaders, central economic bureaucracies and local party leaders. The analysis rejects both of the existing influential explanations in the field, the long dominant power politics approach focusing on alleged clashes within the top leadership, and David Bachman's recent institutional interpretation of the origins of the Great Leap. Instead, this study presents a detailed picture of an exceptionally Mao-dominated process, where no other actor challenged his position, where the boldest step any actor took was to try and influence his preferences, and where the system in effect became paralyzed while Mao kept changing signals as disaster unfolded.

Exotic Commodities

Modern Objects and Everyday Life in China
Author: Frank Dikötter
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231511872
Category: History
Page: 384
View: 8572
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Exotic Commodities is the first book to chart the consumption and spread of foreign goods in China from the mid-nineteenth century to the advent of communism in 1949. Richly illustrated and revealing, this volume recounts how exotic commodities were acquired and adapted in a country commonly believed to have remained "hostile toward alien things" during the industrial era. China was not immune to global trends that prized the modern goods of "civilized" nations. Foreign imports were enthusiastically embraced by both the upper and lower classes and rapidly woven into the fabric of everyday life, often in inventive ways. Scarves, skirts, blouses, and corsets were combined with traditional garments to create strikingly original fashions. Industrially produced rice, sugar, wheat, and canned food revolutionized local cuisine, and mass produced mirrors were hung on doorframes to ward off malignant spirits. Frank Dikötter argues that ordinary people were the least inhibited in acquiring these products and therefore the most instrumental in changing the material culture of China. Landscape paintings, door leaves, and calligraphy scrolls were happily mixed with kitschy oil paintings and modern advertisements. Old and new interacted in ways that might have seemed incongruous to outsiders but were perfectly harmonious to local people. This pragmatic attitude would eventually lead to China's own mass production and export of cheap, modern goods, which today can be found all over the world. The nature of this history raises the question, which Dikötter pursues in his conclusion: If the key to surviving in a fast-changing world is the ability to innovate, could China be more in tune with modernity than Europe?

Narcotic Culture

A History of Drugs in China
Author: Frank Dikötter,Lars Peter Laamann,Zhou Xun
Publisher: C. HURST & CO. PUBLISHERS
ISBN: 9781850657255
Category: Drug abuse
Page: 319
View: 5418
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China was turned into a nation of opium addicts by the pernicious forces of imperialist trade. This study systematically questions this assertion on the basis of abundant archives from China, Europe and the US, showing that opium had few harmful effects on either health or longevity.

The Age of Openness

China Before Mao
Author: Frank Dikötter
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520258815
Category: History
Page: 131
View: 2254
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Accessible to general readers and full of valuable insights for specialists, China before Mao presents a fresh way of approaching the country's modern history and shows that in politics, society, culture, and the economy, China was at its most diverse on the eve of World War II."--BOOK JACKET.

Out of Mao's Shadow

The Struggle for the Soul of a New China
Author: Philip P. Pan
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416537058
Category: History
Page: 349
View: 1747
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An inside analysis of modern cultural and political upheavals in China by a fluent Beijing correspondent describes the power struggles currently taking place between the party elite and supporters of democracy, the outcome of which the author predicts will significantly affect China's rise to a world super-power. 125,000 first printing.

The Discourse of Race in Modern China


Author: Frank Dikötter
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190231130
Category: History
Page: 256
View: 5938
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Previous edition published in 1992 by Stanford University Press.

Mao's New World

Political Culture in the Early People's Republic
Author: Chang-tai Hung
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801449345
Category: History
Page: 352
View: 8151
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Mao's New World examines how Mao Zedong and senior Party leaders transformed the PRC into a propaganda state in the first decade of their rule (1949 1959)."

Famine Politics in Maoist China and the Soviet Union


Author: Felix Wemheuer
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 030020678X
Category: Social Science
Page: 344
View: 5663
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During the twentieth century, 80 percent of all famine victims worldwide died in China and the Soviet Union. In this rigorous and thoughtful study, Felix Wemheuer analyzes the historical and political roots of these socialist-era famines, in which overambitious industrial programs endorsed by Stalin and Mao Zedong created greater disasters than those suffered under prerevolutionary regimes. Focusing on famine as a political tool, Wemheuer systematically exposes how conflicts about food among peasants, urban populations, and the socialist state resulted in the starvation death of millions. A major contribution to Chinese and Soviet history, this provocative analysis examines the long-term effects of the great famines on the relationship between the state and its citizens and argues that the lessons governments learned from the catastrophes enabled them to overcome famine in their later decades of rule.

Dilemmas of Victory


Author: Jeremy Brown
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674725220
Category: History
Page: 476
View: 5483
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This illuminating work examines the social, cultural, political, and economic dimensions of the Communist takeover of China. Instead of dwelling on elite politics and policy-making processes, Dilemmas of Victory seeks to understand how the 1949-1953 period was experienced by various groups, including industrialists, filmmakers, ethnic minorities, educators, rural midwives, philanthropists, stand-up comics, and scientists. A stellar group of authors that includes Frederic Wakeman, Elizabeth Perry, Sherman Cochran, Perry Link, Joseph Esherick, and Chen Jian shows that the Communists sometimes achieved a remarkably smooth takeover, yet at other times appeared shockingly incompetent. Shanghai and Beijing experienced it in ways that differed dramatically from Xinjiang, Tibet, and Dalian. Out of necessity, the new regime often showed restraint and flexibility, courting the influential and educated. Furthermore, many policies of the old Nationalist regime were quietly embraced by the new Communist rulers. Based on previously unseen archival documents as well as oral histories, these lively, readable essays provide the fullest picture to date of the early years of the People’s Republic, which were far more pluralistic, diverse, and hopeful than the Maoist decades that followed.

Banished to the Great Northern Wilderness

Political Exile and Re-education in Mao’s China
Author: Ning Wang
Publisher: UBC Press
ISBN: 0774832266
Category: History
Page: 300
View: 6723
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Following Mao Zedong’s Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957–58, Chinese intellectuals were subjected to “re-education” by the state. In Banished to the Great Northern Wilderness, Ning Wang draws on labour farm archives and other newly uncovered Chinese-language sources, including an interview with a camp guard, to provide a remarkable look at the suffering and complex psychological world of intellectuals banished to China’s remote north. Wang’s use of grassroots sources challenges our perception of the intellectual as a renegade martyr – revealing how exiles often denounced one another and, for self-preservation, declared allegiance to the state.