A Tragedy of Good Intentions

  title={A Tragedy of Good Intentions},
  author={William A. Joseph},
  journal={Modern China},
  pages={419 - 457}
In the post-Mao reconstruction of the history of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), two periods-the Great Leap Forward (1958-1960) and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)-are identified as times when extreme Leftism dominated the Chinese Communist Party and brought the country to the brink of political and economic ruin. These episodes, often referred to in such terms as the &dquo;two comprehensive Leftist mistakes,&dquo; the &dquo;two grave setbacks,&dquo; and the &dquo… 
Dealing with Responsibility for the Great Leap Famine in the People's Republic of China
Abstract In the aftermath of the famine in 1962, Mao Zedong took formal responsibility for the failure of the Great Leap Forward in the name of the central government. Thousands of local cadres were
Regime Changes of Memory: Creating the Official History of the Ukrainian and Chinese Famines under State Socialism and after the Cold War
The year 2008 marked the 50th anniversary of the Great Leap Forward, which led to the greatest famine in world history. According to Western and Chinese scholars, 15-43 million peasants starved to
Catastrophe and Contention in Rural China: Mao's Great Leap Forward Famine and the Origins of Righteous Resistance in Da Fo Village
Introduction 1. The Republican era and the emergence of Communist leadership during the anti-Japanese war of resistance 2. The ascent of the vigilante militia: the violent antecedents of Mao's war 3.
Mao’s China: The Worst Non-Genocidal Regime?
China under Mao Zedong, between 1949 and 1976, seems to offer all the necessary ingredients for a genocidal configuration. The number of unnatural deaths is staggering: most probably somewhere
Socialist Workhorse to Capitalist Powerhouse: Developing a Modern Chinese Commercial Fleet in the Pre-Reform Era
As China approaches dominance in commercial shipping, the task of understanding its rise from irrelevance as a seafaring nation in 1949 to its current position has increasing importance. This article
Agency and Famine in China's Sichuan Province, 1958–1962*
Abstract A revisionist literature on the Great Chinese Famine has emerged in recent years. These revisionists focus primarily on the question of agency. They claim that that neither poor weather nor
The Communication Model and the Nature of Change in Terms of Deforestation in China Since 1949
This article explores the communication model and nature of change in terms of deforestation in China since 1949. Through Lasswell's communication model and the theory of change and via historical
A Review of China’s Great Leap Famine
China’s Great Famine was one of the greatest man-made tragedies, during which 16.5 to 45 million individuals perished in rural areas. Massive scholars have studied the causes and effects of the
From Representing Trauma to Traumatized Representation: Experiential and Reflective Modes of Narrating the Past
In contrast to history, which strives for a neutral and objective stance from which to narrate the past, literature can be thought of as multi-functional when it comes to traumatic history: as
Transportation Infrastructure and Spatial Development in China
This chapter evaluates the political economy of Chinese infrastructure development. In this context, a number of key points were established. For example, after 1949 the restoration of war damaged


Political Liberalization in China: A Struggle Between Two Lines
FOR A BRIEF TIME toward the end of 1978 and the beginning of 1979, China's rulers encouraged democratic agitation by ordinary people against the abuses of dictatorship. During 1980 (the year
Deaths in China Due to Communism: Propaganda versus Reality . By Shalom Stephen Rosskamm. [Tempe, Arizona: Arizona State University, 1984. Center for Asian Studies, Occasional Paper No. 15. 234pp.]
tributions (Chapters 4 and 6). Along with Chapters 9 (on cultural development in the People's Republic) and 11 (on cultural and educational development in the Republic of China), Chapter 4 (on
Stalinism, famine, and Chinese peasants
ConclusionsWhat do the two cases have in common and what sets them apart? Both have in common a high degree of administrative incompetence and mismanagement. The preceding analysis shows this clearly
The critique of ultra-leftism in China, 1958-1981
undertaken, the authors calculate that by 1990 they would add almost 50 million tons of annual coal output, just under 30 percent of China's projected total increase in production. For petroleum the
Famine in China, 1958–61
For many years, very little reliable information was available about the population of the People’s Republic of China. Inferences and speculations about population trends were based on press reports,
[Consolidate statistics work, reform the statistics system].
  • Y. Sun
  • Education
    Daily report. People's Republic of China
  • 1981
Viewed from examples of inaccurate statistical figures and incomplete statistical content, it appears that many people in the party and in the country have not really learned a lesson from the serious mistakes caused by putting forth strong demands without first having a clear understanding of the situation.
“Economics in Command?” Ideology and Policy Since the Third Plenum, 1978–1984
In this article, I shall attempt to give an overview of the most important political and ideological developments during the past six years, and in this context, to assess current trends in China.
Resistance to the One-Child Family
Chinas one-child family campaign has met with considerable success yet it has not gone unopposed. This comes as no surprise because a country of one-child families means that about half the couples
The origins of the Cultural Revolution
I: Change1. Mao in Moscow2. The Politburo Tours China3. The Chengtu Conference4. The Leap is Launched5. The Coming of the Communes6. High TideII: Retreat7. Withdrawal at Wuhan8. Mao Veers Right9.
Leadership, Legitimacy, and Conflict in China: From a Charismatic Mao to the Politics of Succession
This bibliography is the only source for citations to North American scholarship on Eastern and Central Europe, the Balkans, the Baltic States, and the former Soviet Union.