MacFarquhar's new CR book

From Brian Turner <>
Date Wed, 13 Sep 2006 12:17:02 -0700 (PDT)
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Has anyone read Roderick MacFarquhar's new book _Mao's
Last Revolution_?  If so please review it here, or if
anyone has any e-copies of reviews of this book I'd
really appreciate reading it. I've just started a
Modern China class at my university in Hanoi, and it
would be good to have the most updated understanding
of where the debate is going.  

I presume it's the culmination of his extensive prior
research on the Cultural Revolution -- which as I
understood it, tried to (1) Equate the CR with
Stalin's episodes of terror in the 1930s  (2) debunk
the social interpretation of the CR (HY Lee, Chan,
Unger, Rosen...).  (3) Reperiodize CR violence as
disproportionally 1968-71, and emphasize the impact on
the countryside -- though I'd like to know if there's
any new variants on these arguments or new evidence

Regarding (3) I think it's curious that he and Yang Su
(also see Yang Su's solo paper article in _The CR as
History__) reperiodized CR violence as above, but made
little or no effort to draw implications about
factions and agendas.  Since this is generally viewed
as the period of conservative and military ascendancy,
does that not provoke lots of interesting questions
about who exactly is guilty of what?

Anita Chan has said it bluntly before  -- to her the
"red supremicists" were the main ones mauling the
hapless pre-49 "class enemies" on multiple occasions
in the CR period, though this strikes me as a working
hypothesis and not a proven fact.  

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