lørdag 9. februar 2019

China Turned Upside Down: Life During Mao’s Bloody, Chaotic Cultural Revolution

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between China and the United States and the start of China’s “reform and opening up.” In the late 1970s, China was still emerging from the shadows of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, which had swept away most of the country’s social and political institutions and had brought its undeveloped economy to its knees.

China has made remarkable progress since then; today’s China bears almost no resemblance to the China of that period. But the experience of the Cultural Revolution—a chaotic and brutal time of social upheaval—is still fresh in the memories of those who lived through it, including myself and many members of China’s contemporary ruling class. Although most of them rarely discuss it publicly, the Cultural Revolution had a defining impact on many of the people who now lead China and the country’s biggest firms.