Chinese Revolution/Civil War historiography (Issues associated with…
Chinese Revolution/Civil War
Issues associated with studying this subject
China has a very long and complicated history.
It is hard to translate all the historical sources and documents.
The effects are still very present and therefore harder to analyse.
Censorship by the CCP allows for limited access of sources.
Orthodox Marxist historians
criticise Mao for not following traditional marxist thought
Believe that the revolution was wrong because China was not ready for socialism
Criticise him and believe him to be a usurper
Cover his mistakes or make them seem as if they were tactical decisions that were in fact not mistakes
Describe Mao as a sort of "Saviour"
Cold War bias against Mao
Criticize Mao and believe he was a dictator
Accuse him of being egotistical and someone who wanted to expand their own public image
Criticize the brutal terror he and his red guards inflicted upon the populace
Some believe Mao was mostly a good person and leader with a few flaws that are outweighed by his success
Others choose to de-mystify Mao and the revolution or provide a more objective perspective
John K Fairbank
Some choose to heavily criticize Mao and accuse him of many horrible things
Jung Chang and Jon Halliday