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Title: The origins of the Cultural Revolution in China : the dispute over 'liberalisation', 1956-1957.
Author: Macfarquhar, Roderick Lemonde.
ISNI:       0000 0001 1025 4942
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1980
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China's leaders are currently reassessing the cultural revolution unleashed by Mao Tee-tung in 1966. This 8eCOM rewriting of the history of the 1950s and 1960s by Chinese propagandists makes objective analysis of the period by outsiders more urgent. The present stu&y focuses on the dispute over 'liberalisation' during the so-called 'hundred flowers' period of 1956-7 and argues that the seeds of the cultural revolution were sown then. At that time, Mao became convinced of the importance of improving relations between party and people. In particular, he sought to conciliate the non-communist intellectuals whose skills were needed for economic development. But after Khrushchev's denounciation of Stalin and the Hungarian revolt, Mao saw that more fundamental questions about the nature of communist society and the role of the communist party within it were involved. Mao proposed to improve the conduct of party members in the governance of China by a 'rectification campaign' in which excesses would be exposed and expunged by a process of open discussion. Some party leaders, notably Liu Shao-ch'i (later the principal victim of the cultural revolution) disapproved of the haste with which Mao launched the campaign and his involvement of non-communists in it. When students in particular began to organise and. • in some cases, to denounce party rule, Liu and his supporters were able to compel Mao to sanction a counter-attack which effectively stilled criticism. But the lessons of 1956-7 were not lost on Mao. He continued to ponder how to modify the dictatorial power of the party reaucracy, and when he decided to take radical steps to destroy it in 1966-7, he made the students (enrolled as 'Bed Guards') his principal weapon.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mao