The Chinese Revolution 1945-1957

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Frank Dikötter chronicles Mao Zedong’s ascension and his campaign to transform the Chinese into what the party called New People. Due to the secrecy surrounding the country’s records, little has been known before now about the eight years preceding the massive famine and Great Leap Forward. In The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution 1945-1957, Dikötter draws on hundreds of previously classified documents, secret police reports, unexpurgated versions of leadership speeches, eyewitness accounts of those who survived to reveal the horrific policies they implemented in the name of progress.


Frank Dikötter

Comments [24]

@LL from Manhattan:

Is this the type of material you were looking to have published?

What a coincidence!

On Tuesday, January 7th, 2014, WBAI's "Project Censored" featured a discussion of "The Unknown Cultural Revolution: Life and Change in a Chinese Village" ( http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=unknown+cultural+revolution )with the author.
Not a direct refutation of the "omlette" recipe (First, break eggs) described by Dikötter, but it does at least attempt a progressive context for millions of deaths.
(re-broadcast from January 3rd; https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/pcradio/ProjectCensored01031a.mp3 )

Jan. 07 2014 09:36 AM

@LL from Manhattan:

(I was wondering how much of this rhetoric could be applied to our current circumstances if references to "the Great Leap Forward" with "the Affordable Care Act"?)

" . . . Of course, there is a real story about the Great Leap Forward buried under all the nonsensical death toll figures. Certainly, that story includes the tragedy of the hunger that occurred in China in the Great Leap Forward. The story must include the fact that the deaths that occurred may have been due to policy errors, as well as the very adverse natural conditions of the time. Whatever the cause of the errors let us also not forget that this is a story of a nation surrounded by adversaries, desperately trying to pull itself out of the economic backwardness that had repeatedly condemned it to famine in the past. . . . "

Dec. 29 2013 07:51 AM

@LL from Manhattan:

Just as well about your Twitter inability - I wouldn't know how to pick out you message from the 100 or so daily smoke signals I get from the fabled right wing echo chamber. Since you seem unable to submit anything beyond epithet and the allegation that Mr. Lopate or WNYC are intent on keeping you from justifying the 40-50 million deaths Dikotter charges to Mao's "transformational" pogroms, I thought I might supply you with a reference:

"Mao’s Great Famine is a sensational account of China during the Great Leap Forward. It argues the death toll in the Great Leap Forward was at least 45 million. It also claims that 2.5 million of these died due to violence. Most bizarrely, it makes the claim that 30-40% of all homes in China were demolished during the Great Leap Forward. This book depends largely on quotations from documents found in local Chinese Communist Party archives. Dikotter treats these documents as authentic and their content as correct, without a great deal of analysis of the question. Without some acquaintance with the documents Dikotter’s book is based on, a proper review is not possible. It is not possible for this evidence and by extension, Dikotter’s book, to be reviewed properly without examining and authenticating these documents. . . . "
" . . . I would ask readers of this book to heed a general warning about all evidence given by the Chinese Communist Party in the post-Mao era concerning the Great Leap Forward. As I said in my article ‘Did Mao Really Kill Millions in the Great Leap Forward?’, there was a sustained campaign by the Chinese government after Mao’s death to create a negative historical verdict about the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Therefore statistics and documents, relating to these periods, compiled in the post-1976 era should not simply be taken at face value. They need to be authenticated and corroborated. However, another point needs to be remembered too-it should not be just assumed that because a government document has been found in an archive, even from before 1976, that its content must be true. . . . " (Joseph Ball)
(also see, http://www.maoists.org/dikottermisinterpretation.htm)

When I finally had the opportunity to re-hear the program, I was puzzled about your explanation of the "228 Incident". I heard no mention of it in Mr. Dikotter's interview.

Hopefully this submission will not be edited for length and you will be able to handle this amount of text, unaccompanied by the pictorial illustrations in most of your reading materials.

Have a Happy New Year!

[Maybe the show's producers will have the several sides of this controversy present their positions during the upcoming year.
Should be more entertaining than Ali vs. Frazier.]

Have a Happy New Year!

Dec. 29 2013 07:37 AM
LL from Manhattan

I guess the knee jerk, right wing will have a bit to hear this biased crap....

Dec. 26 2013 11:54 AM

MERRY CHRISTMAS, "Comments Moderator"

Notwithstanding the "Someone-is-slandering-Mao" cry-babies on this thread, is there a reason that the audio file for this segment has not been posted yet?


Dec. 26 2013 09:46 AM
Mike from Manhattan

If you listen to Frank Dikötter you would think that this was perpetrated by Mao. The facts are that this was perpetrated by the forces that Mao was fighting against and allowed to happen under U.S. authority. So much for revisionist history and the judgement of people who do not know history like ED.. Yes "Interesting how the truth eventually is revealed." The 228 Massacre, 2/28 Massacre, also called 228 Incident by Kuomintang (KMT), or 2/28 for short, was an anti-government uprising in Taiwan that began on February 27, 1947 which was violently suppressed by the KMT-led Republic of China government and which resulted in the massacre of numerous civilians, beginning on February 28, or 2/28. Estimates of the number of deaths vary from 10,000 to 30,000 or more.[1][2] The incident marked the beginning of the Kuomintang's White Terror period in Taiwan, in which thousands more inhabitants vanished, died, or were imprisoned. This incident is one of the most important events in Taiwan's modern history, and is a critical impetus for the Taiwan independence movement.
In 1945, 50 years of Japanese rule of Taiwan ended due to Japan's loss in World War II, and in October the United States on behalf of the Allied Forces handed temporary administrative control of Taiwan to the Kuomintang-administered Republic of China (ROC) under General Order No. 1 to handle the surrender of Japanese troops and ruling administration. Local inhabitants became resentful of what they perceived as a high handed and frequently corrupt KMT authorities inclined to the arbitrary seizure of private property and economic mismanagement.

Dec. 25 2013 04:33 PM
LL from Manhattan

WOW amazing it's Christmas morning and the posts are appearing which means the detailed info I age on this board was ACTIVELY kept from being posted here . Any one that reads this should then understand that something really rotten was going on and there is a definite agenda with respect to the PRC with respect to this show that precludes a hearing of all sides on these issues.... if this comment makes it that means that the monitor was not censoring comments as they were during the show and that is reason enough to guess that this show is not trying to adhere to journalistic standards of seeking the truth ... really disappointing and cynical... "We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. "
nothing was posted that was out of the guidelines, rather it refuted Frank Dikötter and exposed his obvious bias as well as exposing the true nature of the KMT in China, the government that he defends in not mentioning their corrupt and brutal regime that was despised in China and Taiwan and led to the revolution. The 228 incident upon their arrival in Taiwan was one of many examples of the brutality of the right wing KMT and it's exploitation of the Chinese which (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/228_Incident) Dikötter twists and neglect s to mention.

Dec. 25 2013 01:03 PM
LL from Manhattan

I am not a twitter user actually ....
Lets try this now go to wikipedia and look up :

Dec. 25 2013 12:55 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Mao reminds one of Jesus' words 'From those to whom much is given, much will be given; to those whom less is given, less will be expected', and Mao didn't have access to Christianity, but still everyone knows that killing is wrong. One also remembers Jesus' words 'By their fruit shall you know them', and this fruit is pretty bad.

Dec. 25 2013 05:34 AM

"LL from Midtown" and "Mike Nez from Manhattan":

My experience is that despite their ideological penchant, which somewhat interestingly we probably have a totally opposite opinion on, I haven't experienced an "active denial of posting privileges", but sometimes the comment submission function seems to "hesitate", instead of working as smoothly as the repaired and improved healthcare.gov program(snark, snark)

But we can work around this - maybe (apologies to Carly Rae Jepsen)

My Twitter account #hicks136; send your links and I'll try to post them here.

(Of course if you read this we might be able to assume that the censors are off-duty. ;-) )

Dec. 24 2013 03:56 PM
LL from Midtown

WNYC is not posting all of the comments here. That's why you are not seeing responses

Dec. 24 2013 02:49 PM
Mike Nez from Manhattan

When ever I respond and include the links with material you should know about or just plain respond .... WNYC will not put it up... so you guys can sit in your bias re: Chinese history satisfied that you have the last word courtesy of the censors at WNYC

if you choose to study the subject this author's propaganda will become more clear

Dec. 24 2013 02:48 PM

@Mike from Manahattan:

I don't see any previous comments of substance from you,
could you respond to the questions I posed to Nathan and Viola?
(or ate you merely a bloviating epithet hurler?)

@Voila from Manhattan:

Same question as I asked Nathan:

@Nathan from Manhattan:

You're taking issue with the author's value judgement on what he is describing, or are you challenging his statement about the number of persons killed by Mr. Mao? (Is there some other cause of their deaths? Or are they and their progeny livings contentedly in the shadows of the Him-alyas (some say Himalayas)?

. . .

(Voila, are you one of those "Ducks" boycotting Cracker Barrel for exercising their right to chose what spiritual messages they want to under-wright?

Dec. 24 2013 02:27 PM

@Voila from Manhattan:

Same question as I asked Nathan:

@Nathan from Manhattan:

You're taking issue with the author's value judgement on what he is describing, or are you challenging his statement about the number of persons killed by Mr. Mao? (Is there some other cause of their deaths? Or are they and their progeny livings contentedly in the shadows of the Him-alyas (some say Himalayas)?

. . .

(Voila, are you one of those "Ducks" boycotting Cracker Barrel for exercising their right to chose what spiritual messages they want to under-wright?

Dec. 24 2013 02:21 PM
Mike from Manahattan

Welcome to the Fox Noise corner @WNYC

Dec. 24 2013 02:19 PM

@Nathan from Manhattan:

You're taking issue with the author's value judgement on what he is describing, or are you challenging his statement about the number of persons killed by Mr. Mao? (Is there some other cause of their deaths? Or are they and their progeny livings contentedly in the shadows of the Him-alyas (some say Himalayas)?

@Ed from Larchmont:

"Better dead than red . . . "
" . . . and best to take two reds with you.

Doesn't sound so unreasonable.
(but may be more difficult to say three times fast)

Dec. 24 2013 01:57 PM
Voila from Manhattan

Now I see where wnyc is biased in repressing the truth ED can post multiple posts and the truth is repressed .. I am turning off LL and will refuse to donate as well as tell my other friends about this and actively tell them NOT TO DONATE since you repress other points of view

Dec. 24 2013 01:48 PM
Mike from Manhattan

This whole segment was BS

Dec. 24 2013 01:45 PM
Ed from Larchmont

There were many missionaries in China before 1949, they were then all thrown out. Now the Church is growing fast in China, let's hope the conversion happens soon before more unthinkable disasters take place.

(Do you still think religious wars were the worst wars?)

Dec. 24 2013 01:42 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Better dead than red doesn't sound so unreasonable.

The amazing thing is that Mao never seems to show a suffering conscience.

Dec. 24 2013 01:32 PM
Nathan from Manhattan

Oh yeah Mao was the devil incarnate ... This segment is endless propaganda ... Frank Dikötter has an agenda and leaves out that the revolution in China was a popular revolution ... as if Mao hypnotized the Chinese like they were sheep. He is a KMT right wing liar. I don't know where to begin to unravel his lies and deceptions .... but you can hear the cynicism and evil in his voice. How he is able to TEACH in CHINA ( HK is a part of China) shows that he off his rocker.. any one that knows the history of East Asia can only shake their head when listening to him... the only problem is he is 60 years too late with his BS

Dec. 24 2013 01:30 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Interesting how the truth eventually is revealed.

Dec. 24 2013 01:27 PM
Ed from Larchmont

And one wonders why many were rabid anti-communists. Catholics would say that men by themselves can't be this evil, they become this evil by serving Satan, consciously or not.

Dec. 24 2013 01:25 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Mao probably killed more people than anyone in human history.

Dec. 24 2013 01:20 PM

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