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China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (World Social Change)by Woei Lien Chong
Synopses & Reviews
Treating China's Cultural Revolution as much more than a political event, this innovative volume explores its ideological dimensions. The contributors focus especially on the CR's discourse of heroism and messianism and its demonization of the enemy as reflected in political practice, official literature, and propaganda art, arguing that these characteristics can be traced back to hitherto-neglected undercurrents of Chinese tradition. Moreover, while most studies of the Cultural Revolution are content to point to the discredited cult of heroism and messianism, this book also explores the alternative discourses that have flourished to fill the resulting vacuum. The contributors analyze the intense intellectual and artistic ferment in post-Mao China that embody resistance to CR ideology, as well as the urgent quest for authentic individuality, new forms of social cohesion, and historical truth.
Book News Annotation:
Ten essays, presented by Chong (contemporary Chinese philosophy, Leiden U., Netherlands), examine the Chinese Cultural Revolution (CR) of the 1960s as an effort to inculcate new cultural discourses that served the needs of the state and explore post- Maoist discourses as rejection and resistance to the imposed ideology. Six of the essays discuss the CR as a "master narrative," and individually explore such topics as the pre-ideological mythic basis of the CR, Mao as a unifying symbol, the apocalyptic thinking of Mao's later life, the depiction of communist heroism, and the role of the foreign outsider in the CR ideology. The remaining essays examine counternarratives in autobiographies, plays, philosophy, and fiction.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 345-384) and index.
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History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology