Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World

9780822347804: Hardback
Release Date: 13th August 2010

9780822347958: Paperback
Release Date: 13th August 2010

Dimensions: 156 x 235

Number of Pages: 216

Series Asia-Pacific: Culture, Politics, and Society

Duke University Press Books

Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World

A Concise History

Describes Mao Zedongs life and thought in relation to the Chinese revolution and twentieth-century history.
Hardback / £82.00
Paperback / £20.99

Throughout this lively and concise historical account of Mao Zedong’s life and thought, Rebecca E. Karl places the revolutionary leader’s personal experiences, social visions and theory, military strategies, and developmental and foreign policies in a dynamic narrative of the Chinese revolution. She situates Mao and the revolution in a global setting informed by imperialism, decolonization, and third worldism, and discusses worldwide trends in politics, the economy, military power, and territorial sovereignty. Karl begins with Mao’s early life in a small village in Hunan province, documenting his relationships with his parents, passion for education, and political awakening during the fall of the Qing dynasty in late 1911. She traces his transition from liberal to Communist over the course of the next decade, his early critiques of the subjugation of women, and the gathering force of the May 4th movement for reform and radical change. Describing Mao’s rise to power, she delves into the dynamics of Communist organizing in an overwhelmingly agrarian society, and Mao’s confrontations with Chiang Kaishek and other nationalist conservatives. She also considers his marriages and romantic liaisons and their relation to Mao as the revolutionary founder of Communism in China. After analyzing Mao’s stormy tenure as chairman of the People’s Republic of China, Karl concludes by examining his legacy in China from his death in 1976 through the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Preface and Acknowledgments
1. China in the World in Mao's Youth
2. From Liberal to Communist, 1912–1921
3. Toward the Peasant Revolution, 1921–1927
4. Establishing Revolutionary Bases: From Jinggangshan to Yan'an, 1928–1935
5. Yan'an, the War of Resistance against Japan, and Civil War, 1935–1949
6. Stabilizing Society and the Transition to Socialism, 1949–1957
7. Great Leap and Restoration, 1958–1965
8. The Cultural Revolution:Politics in Command, 1966–1969
9. The Cultural Revolution: Denouement and the Death of Mao, 1969–1976
10. Reform, Restoration, and the Repudiation of Maoism, 1976–present
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Rebecca E. Karl is Associate Professor of History at New York University. She is the author of Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, and co-translator (with Xueping Zhong) of Cai Xiang's Revolution and Its Narratives: China’s Socialist Literary and Cultural Imaginaries, 1949-1966, all also published by Duke University Press. She co-translated and coedited (with Lydia H. Liu and Dorothy Ko) The Birth of Chinese Feminism: Essential Texts in Transnational Theory.

“Karl’s history offers readers a chance to see China as Mao might have seen it. She implicitly begs the reader to ask, what might Mao, whose portrait still looks out over Tiananmen Square, have thought of China as it rises today? And perhaps more importantly, does it matter? Given the proliferation of interest and intrigue surrounding Mao Zedong’s life, Karl’s history included, the CCP has done wonders to maintain the authority he created while forsaking the China he imagined.” - Angilee Shah, Zócalo Public Square

‘[A] reasonably balanced, clear-headed survey of the Great Helmsman’s career and influence. . . . [I]f I had a class of young students approaching the period for the first time, I’d consider this book a not inappropriate textbook to hand them. And by the same measure it can also be recommended to the educated general reader.” - Bradley Winterton, Taipei Times

“Rebecca Karl’s important new biography seeks to contextualize Mao within the history of his time, aiming to restore a degree of sanity in discussing his life and role, warts and all, as the father of modern China; and simultaneously to rescue the history of the Chinese Revolution from its detractors in the West and at home.” - Tariq Ali, New Left Review

“Rebecca Karl provokes both China scholars and the general public to reassess the Chairman once again. Karl’s book departs from the tendencies to either depoliticize Mao or sensationalize his private life for popular consumption by recentering contemporary discussions around his public role in making revolution.” - Jeremy Tai, Twentieth-Century China

“Unlike many other works, [Karl’s] book blends historical facts with cultural analysis, creating a work that is informative despite its brevity. . . . After bringing Mao’s life-story to a close, the author provides a succinct yet meaningful analysis of his legacies. . . . [T]his is a very useful introduction to the most important leader in modern Chinese history.” - Survival

“In this succinct and compact narrative of Mao’s personal and intellectual development, Rebecca E. Karl offers an impressive exposition of the formation and evolution of the theory and practice of the Chinese Revolution. Her analysis of ideological tenets in China's revolutionary movement is convincing and more sophisticated than other narratives of Mao’s life and thought.”—Ban Wang, author of Illuminations from the Past: Trauma, Memory, and History in Modern China

“Rebecca E. Karl has written a lively, readable account of Mao’s life and thought, showing how they fit into and affected the twentieth-century world.”—Delia Davin, author of Mao Zedong

“Karl’s history offers readers a chance to see China as Mao might have seen it. She implicitly begs the reader to ask, what might Mao, whose portrait still looks out over Tiananmen Square, have thought of China as it rises today? And perhaps more importantly, does it matter? Given the proliferation of interest and intrigue surrounding Mao Zedong’s life, Karl’s history included, the CCP has done wonders to maintain the authority he created while forsaking the China he imagined.”

Angilee Shah
Zócalo Public Square

“Rebecca Karl provokes both China scholars and the general public to reassess the Chairman once again. Karl’s book departs from the tendencies to either depoliticize Mao or sensationalize his private life for popular consumption by recentering contemporary discussions around his public role in making revolution.”

Jeremy Tai
Twentieth-Century China

“Rebecca Karl’s important new biography seeks to contextualize Mao within the history of his time, aiming to restore a degree of sanity in discussing his life and role, warts and all, as the father of modern China; and simultaneously to rescue the history of the Chinese Revolution from its detractors in the West and at home.”

Tariq Ali
New Left Review

“Unlike many other works, [Karl’s] book blends historical facts with cultural analysis, creating a work that is informative despite its brevity. . . . After bringing Mao’s life-story to a close, the author provides a succinct yet meaningful analysis of his legacies. . . . [T]his is a very useful introduction to the most important leader in modern Chinese history.”

Survival

‘[A] reasonably balanced, clear-headed survey of the Great Helmsman’s career and influence. . . . [I]f I had a class of young students approaching the period for the first time, I’d consider this book a not inappropriate textbook to hand them. And by the same measure it can also be recommended to the educated general reader.”

Bradley Winterton
Taipei Times