The Cultural Revolution

17 Dec, 2020 950 History of Asia

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Chairman Mao and the revolt he led within his own party from 1966, setting communists against each other, to renew the revolution that he feared had become too bourgeois and to remove his enemies and rivals. Universities closed and the students formed Red Guard factions to attack the ‘four olds’ - old ideas, culture, habits and customs - and they also turned on each other, with mass violence on the streets and hundreds of thousands of deaths. Over a billion copies of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book were printed to support his cult of personality, before Mao himself died in 1976 and the revolution came to an end.

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  • Rana Mitter 7 episodes
    Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China and Fellow of St Cross College, University of Oxford
  • Sun Peidong No other episodes
    Visiting Professor at the Center for International Studies at Sciences Po, Paris
  • Julia Lovell 6 episodes
    Professor in Modern Chinese History and Literature at Birkbeck, University of London

Reading list

  • Life and Death in Shanghai
    Nien Cheng (Flamingo, 2007) Google Books →
  • Mao's Little Red Book: A Global History
    Alexander C. Cook (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 2014) Google Books →
  • The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, 1962--1976
    Frank Dikotter (Bloomsbury, 2016) Google Books →
  • The Gender of Memory: Rural Women and China's Collective Past. Vol. 8.
    Gail Hershatter (University of California Press, 2014) Google Books →
  • Curating Revolution: Politics on Display in Mao's China
    Denise Y. Ho (Cambridge University Press, 2018) Google Books →
  • Making Fashion in Multiple Chinas: Chinese Styles in the Transglobal Landscape
    Wessie Ling and Simone Segre-Reinach (eds.) (I.B. Tauris Press, 2018) Google Books →
  • Maoism: A Global History
    Julia Lovell (Bodley Head, 2019) Google Books →
  • Mao's Last Revolution
    Roderick Macfarquhar and Michael Schoenhals (Harvard University Press, 2006) Google Books →
  • A Continuous Revolution: Making Sense of Cultural Revolution Culture
    Barbara Mittler (Brill, 2020) Google Books →
  • Proletarian Power: Shanghai in the Cultural Revolution
    Elizabeth Perry and Li Xun (Routledge, 2018) Google Books →
  • Anyuan: Mining China's Revolutionary Tradition Vol. 24.
    Elizabeth J. Perry (University of California Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • Fashion and Politics: Everyday Clothing Choices in Guangdong during the Cultural Revolution
    Peidong Sun (People's Publishing House, 2013)
  • China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed
    Andrew Walder (Harvard University Press, 2015) Google Books →
  • Agents of Disorder: Inside China's Cultural Revolution
    Andrew G. Walder (Harvard University Press, 2019) Google Books →
  • The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China
    Guobin Yang (Columbia University Press, 2016) Google Books →
  • Spider Eaters
    Rae Yang (University of California Press, 1998) Google Books →
  • The Cultural Revolution at the Margins
    Yiching Wu (Harvard University Press, 2014) Google Books →

Related episodes

Programme ID: m000q9b6

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Auto-category: 951 (China)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1966, Chairman Mao began the Cultural Revolution, an uprising with his own party, setting communists against each other with mass violence on the streets and the overthrowing of his enemies.