The Cultural Revolution, launched by Mao Zedong in 1966, was the most profound crisis that the People’s Republic of China has ever undergone. In this talk I reconsider various aspects of Mao’s role in the tumultuous movement, arguing that a more complex view of the Great Leader’s involvement in his last great battle is not only necessary but also possible.
Yiching Wu is Associate Professor of East Asian Studies and Director of the David Chu Program of Contemporary Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. He is the author of ""The Cultural Revolution at the Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis"" (Harvard University Press, 2014), which received the President’s Book Award from the Social Science History Association (SSHA). He is currently working on two book-length projects, respectively entitled “The Chairman’s Many Faces: Mao Zedong and the Chinese Cultural Revolution” and “How Cultural Revolution Became the Cultural Revolution: Reexamining the Beginning of Mao’s Last Revolution.”