Tuesday, May 10

The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, 1962-1976 by Frank Dikötter

Teenage Red Guards brandishing copies of Mao’s Little Red Book in 1968 Beijing.
"'To rebel is justified,' the Great Helmsman intoned. He named his teenage followers Red Guards, and it was they who packed Tiananmen Square, waving copies of the Little Red Book filled with his sayings as they stood in their millions for a brief sight of him. Like their western contemporaries who encountered the Beatles, they told each other that their lives were changed. But Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution also had a darker side. It was necessary to destroy the bourgeois past, and this involved the wholesale looting of shrines, the destruction of books and parchment, the smashing of ornaments and the pillaging of homes belonging to the wealthy."
NY Times