The Battle For China's Past
Mao and the Cultural Revolution
"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 demonised in the West, with the Cultural Revolution considered a fundamental violation of human rights.
As China embraces capitalism, the Mao era is being surgically denigrated by the Chinese political and intellectual elite. This book tackles the extremely negative depiction of China under Mao in recent publications and argues most people in China, including the rural poor and the urban working class, actually benefited from Mao's policy of a comprehensive welfare system for the urban and basic health and education provision for the rural, which is being reversed in the current rush towards capitalism.
By a critical analysis of the mainstream account of the Mao era and the Cultural Revolution and by revealing what is offered in the unofficial e-media debates 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.
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).
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
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