Jonathan Mirsky

Monster of misrule

China’s economic miracle is deceptive: the country is still traumatised by the effects of the Cultural Revolution, according to Andrew G. Walder’s thought-provoking China Under Mao

Mao Zedong, once the Helmsman, Great Teacher and Red Red Sun in Our Hearts, and still the Chairman, died in 1976. Even today his giant portrait gazes down over Tiananmen Square, where in 1989 his successors massacred hundreds of students and workers. After so many years and books and articles, can anything new be said about him? Although Andrew Walder, a Stanford sociologist and leading China scholar, writes that his comprehensive and deadly analysis is primarily for non-specialists, he has made me think.

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