Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and the Evolution of the Chinese Communist Leadership by Thomas KampenThis book challenges long-established views that Mao Zedong became Chinese Communist Party leader during the Long March (1934-1935) and that by 1935 the CCP was independent of the Comintern in Moscow. The result is a critique not only of official Chinese historiography but also of Western scholarship, which all future histories of the rise of the PRC will need to take into account.
How Zhou Survived Mao
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong was one of the historic figures of the twentieth century. A founder of the CCP Chinese Communist Party , he played a major role in the establishment of the Red Army and the development of a defensible base area in Jiangxi province during the late s and early s. He consolidated his rule over the Party in the years after the Long March and directed overall strategy during the Sino-Japanese War and the civil war. He formally assumed the post of Party Chairman in His reliance on the peasantry a major departure from prevailing Soviet doctrine and dependence on guerrilla warfare in the revolution were essential to the Communist triumph in China. Following the establishment of the PRC People's Republic of China in , Mao was responsible for many of the political initiatives that transformed the face of China. These included land reform, the collectivization of agriculture, and the spread of medical services.
Mao, a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party, acted as its chairman from until his death. He launched a series of political movements to exterminate counter-revolutionaries after overthrowing the Kuomintang government in In the last decade of his life, he threw China into political and social chaos by starting the Cultural Revolution. Five years after his death in , the party issued a document blaming Mao for causing the upheaval. But his image has remained largely positive among Chinese, who believe he had mitigated the excesses of the Cultural Revolution and kept the economy afloat during the upheaval. Zhou died of cancer in January His memorial held in Tiananmen Square drew close to two million people, which alarmed the Gang of Four and finally led to a crackdown.
Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee. Wasn't he Mao Zedong's old crony from the Long March of when Mao and the Red Army escaped from the Chiang Kai-Shek forces, the escape that kept the Red Army intact to fight another day -- that day in when they tossed out the Chiang forces and declared the People's Republic of China? Wasn't he the man so close to Mao that he was premier from until the day he died in , working despite his quickly metastasizing cancer until the day he died? Wasn't he the man who, with the cunning Henry Kissinger, engineered Richard Nixon's amazing trip to Beijing in ?
The Straits Times
The reasons for this are in part old-fashioned ones: in a world of violent change, not noted for its finesse, Zhou Enlai stood out as elegant, courteous, even courtly; and with his remarkable good looks and fluent intelligence, he seemed to personify the mannerisms of diplomats from a gentler age. This is a pity, because Gao Wenqian, we are told, worked for fourteen years in the s and s on the staff of the government research bureau that was charged with the task of compiling the official biography of Zhou Enlai., He was an important member of the CCP from its beginnings in and became one of the great negotiators of the 20th century and a master of policy implementation, with infinite capacity for details. He survived internecine purges, always managing to retain his position in the party leadership.