The origins of Mao’s Cultural Revolution

UnknownIn 1966, Mao staged a return to public life and attempted to wrest back control of the Chinese Communist Party following the disaster of the Great Leap Forward. He had been a marginal figure for four years since 1962, and in the mean time more pragmatic and less ideological figures such as Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping had steered party policy. Mao would appeal directly to China’s youth, a generation who had grown up after the revolution. He would direct the energies of young people against the establishment within the party, denouncing them as ‘rightists’. This was partly the result of Mao’s belief in bringing about ideological purity through a state of permanent ongoing revolution, but in large part it was his finala bid for power following widespread criticism.

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