The Other Cultural Revolution

Wu Yiching's book "The Cultural Revolution at the Margins. Chinese Socialism in Crisis" gives a fascinating account of a period that was decisive for the end of Maoism and the rise of a capitalist China.

Submitted by Nao on October 8, 2015

Wu's book destroys myths popular in the left—Maoist or not—and explains the twisted class concept behind the CCP's policies of social control from the 1950s to the 1970s. It recounts the main events of the Cultural Revolution that was started in 1966 "from above" but—once it had triggered mass movements—could not contain demands and expectations "from below".

Wu's view from the "margins" allows him to focus on "radical left" elements that the Cultural Revolution produced, and the author shows how the re-establishment of party rule starting in 1967 laid the foundations for the incorporation of social discontent in the 1970s and the CCP's improvised capitalist reforms which began in 1978.

Those interested should read the book itself: The Cultural Revolution at the Margins. Chinese Socialism in Crisis.

A detailed book review was just published in German: Die andere Kulturrevolution. Wu Yichings Thesen zur historischen Krise des chinesischen Sozialismus.