The Cultural Revolution

Today we will be studying and writing about Mao’s regime, and especially the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.  You will look at primary sources from the time.  Then, using those sources and the assigned reading, you will do a write-up of your ideas.  You should write a short piece (300 words) in which you are an American journalist reporting on the Cultural Revolution. What do you observe in China, and why is it taking place? How would you explain it to your readership?  Write it in a style appropriate to a newspaper.  Be sure to include specifics–you want to give your readers a good picture of what is going on.

You should spend 30 minutes or so looking around at sources, and another 20 minutes or so writing up.

Creating your page

You will be writing this up on the class blog.  Here is how to create the blog page you’ll be using:

  1. Log in to the class blog.
  2. On the drop-down menu under +New click “Page”
  3. On the right hand side there is a section entitled “Page Attributes.”   On the drop-down menu labeled “Parent,” choose “The Cultural Revolution.”
  4. In the title bar at the top of the page, write a title for the page.
  5. Write up your entry in the space provided
  6. Hit the blue button labeled “Publish” to publish what you’ve written.  You can go back and edit or add after you’ve published.

What should you look at?

We will mostly be using the website  The site overall is very interesting, and you should feel free to poke around.  If you’re not sure where to start, I suggest the following links:


4 Responses to The Cultural Revolution

  1. Sarah Esterow says:

    A new upsurge of revolution has hit China and the Cultural Revolution is certainly a site to see in China!! Massive protests flood the country and little red books are seen everywhere. Fight songs are blasted on the radio and this country could not have more propaganda to aid them in these protests. Mao has brainwashed all of the people to rebel against feudalism. Mao has shaped the young citizens of China to rebel, and forced them toward mass movement protests!!

  2. John Higgins says:

    The Strict, Strong and Crazy Cultural Revolution in China

    As I arrived in the warm, yet muggy, air in China, I was extremely surprised. Upon my arrival, I immediatly saw little red books in hundreds of people’s hands walking along the street. Not only men but also women were involved in this reading, and not only adults, but tons of young elementary school students were indulged in this book. There seemed to be a breaking point in the traditionalist Kindergarten through Twelfth grade education and instead, these young people were learning through a Revolutionary education. I was interested to find out what was so captivating about the little red books that were seemingly attached to these people’s hands at all time, and I finally got my hands on one. The red book is practically a list of social keys of wisdom, straight from the mouth of Mao Zedong. For example, it is all up to the people to work together against any reactionaries in China. As I was reading that, I ironically saw a bunch of twenty-something year olds brutally attacking an older man who seemed to be voicing an opinion against the Revolutionaries. While being a crazy reaction to an opinion different than theirs, it showed the close, family values among the Red Guards. The cultural revolution was an uprising against the moderate and capitilistic views spread among most bureaucratic Chinese people. There was no tolerance for views that challenged the strict, left winged communist views of the way China should be run, and that was explicitly shown in my trip to China.

  3. Kendal says:

    Mao Ideology Brainwashes the Communist Nation. The Chinese Communist Party has been notably idolizing Chairman Mao, making his photo the focal point of every room. In addition, photos depict citizens contently supporting Mao with their red books at hand. Songs on the radio illustrate triumph for Chairman Mao’s Proletarian Line on Public Health. Everywhere you go, everywhere you look, and Chairman Mao is around you in several ways, shapes, and forms. Mao is starting to be viewed as a holy figure in his recent efforts to heal deaf mute children. These children are described to have “boundless love for the great Chairman Mao”. The state of China is in chaos as a result of the Mao craze. China is so ready to worship Charmin Mao due to their desire to abolish feudalism. The armies are built up of students with a common hatred for Capitalism. The Red Guard has been instated to apply these ideals. China is completely consumed by Maoist supporters, and if you do not support Mao than you are at a deficit and risk losing your life. The unstable Country is exasperated by feudalism and chairman Mao and his ideals exhilarate them. Maoist revolution was described as, “one in which sheer human will, with the correct political orientation, could overcome all obstacles and transform the world itself. It was a revolution that in many ways had its well-springs in the spiritual yearnings of the previous decades. If the industrialized West represented modernity achieved through capital, the spiritual East, exemplified by revolutionary China, gave form to an alternative form of modernity, a different path to the future.”

  4. Jon Rubenstein says:

    The Cultural Revolution is an incredible process that affects all aspects of Chinese society. Certainly, no American or European country has seen the level of unification that is associated with the Cultural Revolution. The source of unification is the worship of Chairman Mao. The citizens of China are idolizing Chairman Mao as a God. They treat his “Little Red Book,” which is full of his philosophies, as a holy book—almost like the bible. Mao’s book is supposed to solve all problems that one could ever have. It even has advice on combating cancer. Thousands of civilians carry this book everywhere with them as a symbol of their loyalty to Chairman Mao. This unification is exactly Mao’s intention—to mobilize the masses and bring the country together. He believes that mobilization is the key to achieving socialism.

    While the Chinese are more unified than they have ever been, they seem to be brainwashed by Chairman Mao and his propaganda. They are buying into his Red Book and extreme propaganda. Mao is becoming like a famous superstar in China, more than a political leader. But what is the reason for his attempt at unification?

    Mao wants to revive the revolution, as it has lost momentum in the preceding years. He wants to reassert his authority and reassert the revolutionary values that mean so much to him. All of these values can be found in the Little Red Book. It is the key to his philosophies and political views. It encourages revolt, as Mao believes it is the only way to achieve revolution. Since the Little Red Book says to rebel, that is what the Chinese, particularly the youth are attempting. In the coming months, rebellions and revolutionary spirit are expecting to become even greater. With all the support he is getting, there may be no stopping Mao, which means no stopping the appearance of socialism in China.

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