Necessary Virtue: The Pragmatic Origins of the Cultural Revolution

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Programs for Teachers
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

The Chinese Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), an event that embodied Maoism and its utopian vision,  was  unique in world history in the depth and scale of  pure destruction.  It resulted in the destruction of much of China’s cultural heritage and traditions, delay of its economical and technological development and heartbreaking tragedy for literally hundreds of millions.   This introductory talk addresses its central mystery:  How did Mao Zedong, arguably  the most pragmatic and least ideologically bound of all modern world leaders, end his life leading the world’s most unpragmatic and most ideological movement?

Seminar led by Guy Alitto, University of Chicago