China Under Mao: An Interview

With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that 1949 was actually the beginning, not the end, of the Chinese revolution.” Building from this premise, Andrew G. Walder’s new book looks at the ways that China was transformed in the 1950s in order to understand why and how Mao’s decisions and initiatives – among those of other leaders – had the effects that they did. Written for a broad reading audience, China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed (Harvard University Press, 2015) focuses on a core theme: the results of Mao’s initiatives were often “unintended, unanticipated, and unwanted,” by Mao himself, the party leadership, and the broader population. We recently talked about the book for the New Books in East Asian Studies podcast, and you can listen to that conversation by heading over here.