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Maoist Rectification during Wartime

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ruth Rushworth.

Chen Yung-fa (Modern History Institute of the Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan) will give a series of three public lectures and a concluding symposium on The Meaning of the Chinese Communist Revolution.

Abstract

During the civil war (1946-1949), Chiang Kaishek read the 22 rectification documents, including those written by Mao Zedong, that served as keynote speeches for the Communist campaigns aiming to reform Party cadres and make them conform to the ideal model of a Communist Party member. Chiang found the documents so beneficial and exciting that he even intended to urge his cadres to study them. This essay shows the discrepancies between the 22 documents and the actual political campaigns the Communist Party undertook partly on the basis of those documents in Yanan in the 1940s. The Communist campaigns that centered on the 22 documents are reexamined from three angles: the intraparty struggle among top leaders from 1940 to 1945; the intensifying cadre screening campaign among all cadres from 1941 to 1943; and the anti-traitor campaigns that aimed at uncovering those who were not supportive or not sufficiently supportive of the Party from 1943 to 1945. Through the reconstitution of the Communist practice of the rectification campaigns, I argue that even if he intended to duplicate Mao’s rectification efforts, Chiang could not make any headway, because of the differences between himself and Mao, and the Nationalist Party and the Communist Party.

Full details: http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/2237/

This talk is part of the Humanitas series.

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