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The World Turned Upside Down: A History of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

by Yang Jisheng

Hardback $79.99

$79.99

$79.99

As a major political event and a crucial turning point in the history of the People’s Republic of China, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) marked the zenith as well as the nadir of Mao Zedong’s ultra-leftist politics. Reacting in part to the Soviet Union’s "revisionism," which he regarded as a threat to the future of socialism, Mao mobilized the masses in a battle against what he called "bourgeois" forces within the Chinese Communist Party. This ten-year-long class struggle devastated traditional Chinese culture as well as the nation’s economy.

Following Tombstone, his groundbreaking and award-winning history of the Great Famine, Yang Jisheng here presents the only history of the Cultural Revolution by an independent scholar based in mainland China, and makes a crucial contribution to understanding the lasting influence of those years.

Yang Jisheng’s The World Turned Upside Down puts every political incident, major and minor, of those ten years under extraordinary and withering scrutiny, and arrives in English at a moment when contemporary Chinese governance is leaning once more toward a highly centralized power structure and a Mao-style cult of personality.

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9780374293130
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pub Date: 25/05/2021
  • Category: Society & social sciences / Marxism & Communism
  • Imprint: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Pages: 768
  • Price: $79.99

As a major political event and a crucial turning point in the history of the People’s Republic of China, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) marked the zenith as well as the nadir of Mao Zedong’s ultra-leftist politics. Reacting in part to the Soviet Union’s "revisionism," which he regarded as a threat to the future of socialism, Mao mobilized the masses in a battle against what he called "bourgeois" forces within the Chinese Communist Party. This ten-year-long class struggle devastated traditional Chinese culture as well as the nation’s economy.

Following Tombstone, his groundbreaking and award-winning history of the Great Famine, Yang Jisheng here presents the only history of the Cultural Revolution by an independent scholar based in mainland China, and makes a crucial contribution to understanding the lasting influence of those years.

Yang Jisheng’s The World Turned Upside Down puts every political incident, major and minor, of those ten years under extraordinary and withering scrutiny, and arrives in English at a moment when contemporary Chinese governance is leaning once more toward a highly centralized power structure and a Mao-style cult of personality.

Author Information

Yang Jisheng was born in 1940, joined the Communist Party in 1964, and worked for the Xinhua News Agency from 1968 until his retirement in 2001. For fifteen years, he was a deputy editor at Yanhuang Chunqiu, an official journal that regularly skirts censorship with articles on controversial political topics. In 2015, he resigned under official pressure. Yang serves on the editorial board of Economic Reference and continues to write political commentaries. For Tombstone, Yang won Sweden’s Stieg Larsson Prize for journalistic courage, the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism, the Manhattan Institute’s Hayek Prize, and the Lemkin Book Award of the Institute for the Study of Genocide. Yang lives in Beijing with his wife and two children.

Stacy Mosher learned Chinese in Hong Kong, where she lived for eighteen years. A longtime journalist, she currently works as an editor and translator in Brooklyn, New York.

Guo Jian is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Originally trained in Chinese language and literature, he was on the Chinese faculty of Beijing Normal University until he came to the United States to study for his PhD in English in the mid-1980s.

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