China Under Mao

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Harvard University Press, Apr 6, 2015 - Business & Economics - 413 pages
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China's Communist Party seized power in 1949 after a long period of guerrilla insurgency followed by full-scale war, but the Chinese revolution was just beginning.China Under Mao narrates the rise and fall of the Maoist revolutionary state from 1949 to 1976—an epoch of startling accomplishments and disastrous failures, steered by many forces but dominated above all by Mao Zedong.

Mao's China, Andrew Walder argues, was defined by two distinctive institutions established during the first decade of Communist Party rule: a Party apparatus that exercised firm (sometimes harsh) discipline over its members and cadres; and a socialist economy modeled after the Soviet Union. Although a large national bureaucracy had oversight of this authoritarian system, Mao intervened strongly at every turn. The doctrines and political organization that produced Mao's greatest achievements—victory in the civil war, the creation of China's first unified modern state, a historic transformation of urban and rural life—also generated his worst failures: the industrial depression and rural famine of the Great Leap Forward and the violent destruction and stagnation of the Cultural Revolution.

Misdiagnosing China's problems as capitalist restoration and prescribing continuing class struggle against imaginary enemies as the solution, Mao ruined much of what he had built and created no viable alternative. At the time of his death, he left China backward and deeply divided.

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Contents

1 Funeral
1
2 From Movement to Regime
15
3 Rural Revolution
40
4 Urban Revolution
61
5 The Socialist Economy
82
6 The Evolving Party System
100
7 Thaw and Backlash
123
8 Great Leap
152
10 Fractured Rebellion
200
11 Collapse and Division
231
12 Military Rule
263
13 Discord and Dissent
287
14 The Mao Era in Retrospect
315
Notes
347
References
377
Index
399

9 Toward the Cultural Revolution
180

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About the author (2015)

Andrew G. Walder is Denise O'Leary and Kent Thiry Professor of Sociology, and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University.

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