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2. Why did Mao launch the Cultural Revolution when he did?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about why Mao chose to launch the Cultural Revolution when he did, focusing in particular on: (i) the disastrous effects of Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’; (ii) the emergence of potential rivals to Mao’s authority, including the figures of Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi; and (iii) the cooling of relations with Soviet Russia, and the impact this had on Chinese politics back at home.
In this course, Professor Michael Dillon (Durham University) explores the Cultural Revolution in China through nine key questions: (1) What was the meaning of the name ‘Cultural Revolution’?; (2) Why did Mao launch the Cultural Revolution when he did?; (3) Is it accurate to describe the Cultural Revolution as the ‘decade of disaster’?; (4) To what extent were Mao’s motives ideological rather than political?; (5) What was the role of the Red Guards in Mao’s strategy?; (6) Why was traditional Chinese culture a prime target in the Cultural Revolution?; (7) What part did Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing, play in the Cultural Revolution?; (8) How important was Lin Biao in the Cultural Revolution?; and (9) To what extent was the Cultural Revolution a success?
Michael Dillon was founding director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at Durham University, where he taught courses on modern China, Chinese history, and Chinese language. He has also been a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Asiatic Society, and a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
Cite this Lecture
Dillon, M. (2020, November 29). China – The Cultural Revolution, 1966-76 - Why did Mao launch the Cultural Revolution when he did? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/china-the-cultural-revolution-1966-76/why-did-mao-launch-the-cultural-revolution-when-he-did
Dillon, M. "China – The Cultural Revolution, 1966-76 – Why did Mao launch the Cultural Revolution when he did?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 29 Nov 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/china-the-cultural-revolution-1966-76/why-did-mao-launch-the-cultural-revolution-when-he-did