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From Paper Crown to Leather Belt

  • Weili Ye
  • Xiaodong Ma
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Oral History book series (PSOH)

Abstract

The years prior to the Cultural Revolution were critical in grooming our generation for the roles we were to play in the ensuing political upheaval. What happened on many secondary-school campuses in Beijing at this time was indicative of an overall ideological hardening in China, signified most clearly by Mao Zedong’s September 1962 call to “never forget class struggle.” It reflected Mao’s perception of a perilous reality both in domestic politics and in international affairs. Domestically, Mao disapproved of what he regarded as ideologically compromising policies, such as retreating from rural collectivization attempted by his lieutenants in the wake of the disastrous Great Leap Forward. He sensed his influence at the party center was being weakened. Internationally, it appeared that Mao believed that the Soviet Union had betrayed the truth “Marxism” and had turned “revisionist. ” The open rift between the two giant socialist countries created great strain and led to serious border tension in the north. Meanwhile, America’s escalated military presence in Vietnam posed explicit threat from the south.

Keywords

Work Team School Leader Cultural Revolution Wall Poster Party Secretary 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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From Paper Crown to Leather Belt

  1. 3.
    Mao Zedong, “Notes on the Report of the Investigation of the Beijing Teachers’ Training College,” July 3, 1965.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ye Weili with Ma Xiaodong 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weili Ye
  • Xiaodong Ma

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