mao's china: links to the china of mao tse tung/mao zedong   

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 Detail from Mao, (1972) by Andy Warhol. Click for the full image.   casahistoria - web site for students of modern history!

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Browse down the page or just click one of these sections.... 
1. General
Leadership, ideology & Party
Chinese Communist Party
Mao Tse-Tung |
The Mao cult
Deng Xiaoping |
Zhou Enlai
3. Communist victory & early reform
First Five Year Plan | Campaigns
4. The Great Leap Forward
Famine | A Bomb
5. The Cultural Revolution
Origins | Daily life
6. Impact of the Cultural Revolution
Youth & education |
Intellectuals, art & literature | Economy |
Gang of Four | Human Rights
7. Communist propaganda
8. Women in communist China (separate page)
Before the Revolution | Revolutionary change
Consequences | Situation today
9. Mao, China & the USA (separate page)
10. The End of the Mao Era
China after Mao: a brief selection
Other core casahistoria China pages:
  Republican China & the Civil War 
Related casahistoria single party sites
  Ideologies of Left & Right



casahistoria is recommended by many sites including:




1. General Sites
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Republican China For extensive links to the Background to the Communist Revolution, Republican China & the Civil War go to the casahistoria site.




2. Leadership, ideology and party

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  • History for the Masses Geremie Barmé considers the interpretation placed on History and politics by successive communist regimes in China. Not always easy, but places much in a pattern & context.
Chinese Communist Party
  •  An Illustrated History of the Communist Party of China Part of the "authorized government portal site to China," (中国网). Offers a survey to CCP history up to 1991 in 6 chapters, each with an introduction, and 30 to 48 images. In addition there is a short essay on the party in general. (China Internet Information Center, Beijing, China)
  • Chronology and Lists includes Chronology of Chinese Communist Party National Party Congresses and Plenums, 1921-87; Diplomatic Recognitions, 1949-87. US Library of Congress Federal Research Division. See also the very useful Glossary to key slogans, phrases, movements
  • Chronicle of PRC  Dry, but thorough, provided on a yearly basis by People's Daily.
  • A Summary of the Chinese Labour Movement Since 1949 By Tim Pringle, China Labour Bulletin, 17 August 2001. This document is an outline of the Chinese labour movement since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took power in 1949. A background paper prepared for an international conference in Hong Kong, November 2000
Deng Xiaoping
"Zhou Enlai
Mao Tse-Tun (Mao Zedong)
  • Mao Zedong Concise but useful bio from Thinkquest
  • Mao biography from Time 100 series
  • Maoism Introductory essay on the key aspects
  • Mao Zedong Thought Clear basic narrative to support excellent poster coverage from Stefan Landsberger's Poster Pages. Many sub sections to different aspects the ideology - what was read and posters to show who read it
  • Mao Zedong and the Chinese Revolution Part of the excellent, well supported Columbia University, East Asian Curriculum Project.
  • The Mao Zedong Internet Archive – Collections of Chairman Mao's speeches, 1926 –1940. These documents were compiled, edited and published by the U.S. Government's Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) in 1978 very comprehensive
  • Mao zhuxi yulu (The Little Red Book) Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung.  Published in May 1964. The text here is verbatim from the second edition, Peking, 1967. From Terebess Asia Online
  • Ask Chairman Mao for the Answers  A 'user's guide' to The Quotations of Chairman Mao, illustrates how Mao Zedong Thought was supposed to be applied to everyday situations. Cleverly produced, perhaps too clever? You need to open the window to full size ...
  • Mao Collection Very large collection of Mao's speeches and writing. Set out chronologically from the Marx2Mao site.
      The Mao cult
  • The Mao Cult worthwhile narrative and posters from Stefan Landsberger
  • The Mao Cult worthwhile narrative and posters from Stefan Landsberger
  • MaoSpeak: Extracts of MaoSpeak, or NewChina NewSpeak (Xinhua wenti), popularised on Mainland China as the political and social lingua franca from the 1940s. The Beijing novelist Wang Shuo used this language from the late 1980s in his satirical studies of life under socialism. Read some of it here...


3. Communist victory & early reform

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Economics: First Five Year Plan Campaigns


4. The Great Leap Forward

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  • Famine
    • Mao's Great Leap to Famine Very useful article by Frank Dikötter, professor at the University of Hong Kong and writer of “Mao’s Great Famine.” See also:
      • Key Arguments Usefully laid out points from Dikötter book on the famine from his own website. No read to read the book now....
      • Mao's Great Leap to Famine Dikötter 2010 article for the International Herald Tribune which gives general outline of the famine.
      • The Great Leap Backward Dikötter 2010 article for Historey Today which gives general critique of the Great Leap Forward & Famine based on his researches.
      • Mao's Great Famine Video lecture to the Asia Society by Historian Frank Dikötter where he recounts the horrific cost of China's "Great Leap Forward" between 1958 and 1962. (1 hr., 18 min.)
    • The man who exposed Mao’s secret famine FT 2010 item by by Richard McGregor about Yang Jisheng, who after nearly two decades of painstaking research produced a minutely chronicled and irrefutable account of the death by starvation of 35-40 million Chinese between 1958 and 1961. See also the New York Review of Books:
    • China's Agricultural Crisis and Famine of 1959–1961: A Survey and Comparison to Soviet Famines Very detailed academic article (with many stats) shows how China's Great Leap Forward ended as a catastrophe as widespread famine claimed millions of human lives. and how the collapse of grain production was primarily due to failures in central planning that diverted agricultural resources to industry and to malnutrition among peasants, which lowered their productivity. Interestingly, this paper also compares China's experience with the Soviet famines of 1931–1933 and 1947. By Dennis Tao Yang, Virginia Tech & The Chinese Univ of Hong Kong




5. The Cultural Revolution, 1964-76

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Origins Daily life during the Cultural Revolution


  • The following are from the excellently produced Morning Sun site. Each one has a brief general narrative followed by links to excellent academic articles and primary documentary resources
  • Growing up a foreigner during Mao's Cultural Revolution Paul Crook's Communist parents met in China in 1940 and brought up their three sons in Beijing. In the 1960s, Paul was caught up in the Cultural Revolution, a chaotic attempt to root out elements seen as hostile to Communist rule.This BBC item tells his story of the time.



6. The Impact of the Cultural Revolution

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Youth & education Intellectuals, art & literature
  • "A Can of Worms" is a collection of witty lines that Huang distributed among his friends; some of the writings made humorous use of Party jargon. In the summer of 1966, these private writings were declared to be counter-revolutionary. Huang was criticized, denounced in public meetings, and severely beaten. Lavishly presented in an interactive way from Morning Sun.
  • Mao Zedong, Art, and the Cultural Revolution examines the role and ideology of Mao Zedong as leader of the Chinese Communist Party and originator of the Cultural Revolution. This section discusses the political influence Mao Zedong exerted over art and literature as early as 1930, the Marxist-Lenin basis of Mao's theories, and Mao's speech of 1942, "Talks at the Yenan Forum on Art and Literature." Excerpts from the thesis by Wendy A. Levine
  • Jiang Qing, Beijing Opera, and Party Policy discusses the many policies developed and enforced by Jiang Qing and the Gang of Four during the Cultural Revolution. Excerpts from the thesis by Wendy A. Levine
  • The Red Detachment of Women  &  White-Haired Girl Two Morning Sun video excerpts from Revolutionary opera to sing and dance along to...
  • The Cultural Revolution and the Fall of Lin Piao An left wing article by Sam Marcy from Workers world.
Economy Political opposition
  • Liu Shaoqi Picture board of his life and work until death whilst under arrest, 1969
Gang of Four
  • Gang of Four Clear basic narrative to support excellent poster coverage from Stefan Landsberger's Poster Pages. See the gang as the propagandists saw them!
Human Rights
  • A Personnel File (documents on people whose belongings were confiscated and who were sent into exile) from the time of the Cultural revolution. Very cleverly translated in an interactive way, superimposed on the original (?) documents. Morning Sun site
  • The Burning Forest by Simon Leys (published in 1978.) Difficult essay, drawing attention to the Human Rights issues in totalitarian China.



7. Communist Propaganda

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  • The East is Red, A Song-and-Dance Epic — The East is Red became the underlying theme of a song-and-dance epic produced in 1964. Here Morning Sun site provides the entire production, divided into scenes with the original Chinese songs and English translations. This stage production presented a creation myth, an historical vision, a belief system, and a moral landscape in which the generation of the Cultural Revolution came of age.
  • Transformation of a Love Song — The East is Red started out as a peasant love song, and here you can follow its progress to becoming a call to arms in the Anti-Japanese War, and a paean extolling Chairman Mao, the saviour of the Chinese people.
  • Songs from the Cultural Revolution Over 20 of them!! More to sing along with...
Posters Press & Literature
  • The Great Leap Forward Pictures taken from La Chine, issues No 12 and No 16, 1959 and China Reconstructs, October 1961 From the well presented Sinophilia site
  • Mao and the others Images from the 1959 La Chine when it  published official pictures portraying President Mao together with foreign personalities. From the well presented Sinophilia site
  • The Little White Hen: a propagandist children story From the well presented Sinophilia site
  • Newspapers and Magazines Four examples from Morning Sun site of how newspapers and magazines published during the Cultural Revolution served to reflect and promote the government's policies.
  • Barefoot doctors of the Cultural Revolution. Report from Tungting - A People's Commune on Taihu Lake by Wu Chou is a booklet published in 1975 by Beijing Foreign Languages Press. It's an exhaustive description (49 pages, 24 pictures) of the Dongting's People's Commune near Suzhou. From the well presented Sinophilia site
Radio, Television & Cinema Peoples Liberation Army
  • Liu Ying-chun: A Fine Son of the Chinese People: propaganda article from China Pictorial 1966  about the "glorious, great and militant life of a proletarian fighter." See also A Heroic Company Armed with Mao Tse-tung's Thought: propaganda article from China Pictorial 1966.
  • Chinese Propaganda Posters: PLA Stefan Landsberger's massive sections on the PLA are all worthwhile looking at.
  • Lei Feng (Film Extract) tells the tale of a PLA soldier who was a model student of Mao Zedong Thought and whose tireless study of the Chairman’s writings and good deeds are shown in this film. (NB Jiang Qing found fault with this film; in particular, she felt that the image of Mao was inappropriate and politically incorrect.)



8. Women in Communist China

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  “Man works hard, flowers are fragrant” click for more similar images and an accompanying article.Women in Mao's China For extensive links, visit the section on Communist China in the casahistoria Women in Totalitarian States site.
Sections include:



9. Mao, China & the USA

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  Nixon and China For links to the Nixon visit and changes in the view towards the USA go to the casahistoria Detente site. 



10. The End of the Mao Era, 1972-6
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China after Mao: a brief selection China Today
  • China - 50 Years of Communism – NY Times 50th Anniversary Survey of China and Chinese Communism
  • Then & Now 1978 compared with today - key indicators from Deng Xiaoping front §
  • Asia Ascending From the Economist, Reviews of three new books that examine the rise of China and the rest of Asia, and which draw starkly different conclusions about what this means for the rest of the world.  Jun 9th 2005



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