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The Cultural Revolution: A Very Short Introduction

The Cultural Revolution: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback Very Short Introductions

By (author) Richard Curt Kraus

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 152 pages
  • Dimensions: 107mm x 168mm x 13mm | 45g
  • Publication date: 26 January 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0199740550
  • ISBN 13: 9780199740550
  • Edition statement: Original
  • Illustrations note: 10 b/w halftones
  • Sales rank: 211,285

Product description

China's decade-long Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution shook the politics of China and the world. Even as we approach its fiftieth anniversary, the movement remains so contentious that the Chinese Communist Party still forbids fully open investigation of its origins, development, and conclusion. Drawing upon a vital trove of scholarship, memoirs, and popular culture, this Very Short Introduction illuminates this complex, often obscure, and still controversial movement. Moving beyond the figure of Mao Zedong, Richard Curt Kraus links Beijing's elite politics to broader aspects of society and culture, highlighting many changes in daily life, employment, and the economy. Kraus also situates this very nationalist outburst of Chinese radicalism within a global context, showing that the Cultural Revolution was mirrored in the radical youth movement that swept much of the world, and that had imagined or emotional links to China's red guards. Yet it was also during the Cultural Revolution that China and the United States tempered their long hostility, one of the innovations in this period that sowed the seeds for China's subsequent decades of spectacular economic growth. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Author information

Richard Curt Kraus is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Oregon and the author of Pianos and Politics in China.

Review quote

"This remarkably full and efficient account provides a basic narrative of the Cultural Revolution, and then discusses in greater depth its politics, culture, economics, foreign relations, and memory. The book profits from Kraus's particular expertise on culture and the arts, and does not shy from controversial claims that are likely to provoke lively discussions." -Joseph Esherick, Hwei-chih and Julia Hsiu Chair in Chinese Studies, University of California, San Diego "It's just 152 pages, small enough to slip in your back pocket, and written by a political scientist who knows the complex event in question through and through, and does a nice job of, among other things, dealing with the strange shadows it continues to cast on contemporary Chinese politics." -- Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Chancellor's Professor and Department of History Chair, University of California at Irvine

Table of contents

Preface ; Chapter 1: The Coming of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution ; Chapter 2: "Politics In Command" ; Chapter 3: Culture: "Destroy the Old, Establish the New" ; Chapter 4: An Economy of "Self-Reliance" ; Chapter 5: "We Have Friends All over The World": The Movement's Global Context ; Chapter 6: Coming to Terms with the Cultural Revolution ; Timeline ; References ; Further Reading ; Index