The Battle for China's Past: Mao & the Cultural Revolution by Mobo Gao - review by Jonathan Mirsky

Jonathan Mirsky

Reforming Opinions

The Battle for China's Past: Mao & the Cultural Revolution


Pluto Press 280pp £18.99

Mobo Gao is a professor at Adelaide University and director of its Confucius Institute – which I imagine is supported in some way by the People's Republic. Beijing now sponsors such centres to show that China has reclaimed aspects of its traditional past. If this is the case at Adelaide, Beijing will not like Gao's views on post-Mao reform, so he should be commended for expressing them, even though I disagree with many of them. 

Gao's main theme in The Battle for China’s Past is that although there is much to condemn about Mao and the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), the Chairman was a great visionary who wanted true social equality for China, while the Cultural Revolution was enthusiastically supported by many Chinese, especially the vast

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