The Chinese Revolution
China has been in the process of a revolution since the start of the century, trying to build a united and strong republic that is run by a sovereign government. The author of the book tries to paint a picture of the revolution process, especially during the reign of Mao Zedong. After the civil war was over, the country was faced with a major rebuilding job based on industrialization and socialism. Mao Zedong came up with an ambitious plan, called the Great Leap Forward, that would seek to increase the industrial output of the country to almost 15 times that of Britain. The author seeks to expound on the events and cultural shifts that occurred at the time through the experiences of Peng Dehuai, Lei Feng, and the Red Guards.
The Great Leap forward was a strategy that focused on the country’s vast population to supplement the country’s agricultural and industrial problems. The leadership believed that by concentrating on a labour-intensive style of industrialization, the country would be able to hasten the slow process of industrialization through the accumulation of capital and the purchase of modern machinery. Although the plan was able to solve the problem of high unemployment, lack of proper planning led to an economic disaster.