In the Lap of Tigers: The Communist Labor University of Jiangxi Province by John CleverleyIn the Lap of Tigers: The Communist Labor University of Jiangxi Province by John Cleverley

In the Lap of Tigers: The Communist Labor University of Jiangxi Province

byJohn Cleverley

Paperback | February 22, 2000

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Founded in the forested mountains of ChinaOs remote Jiangxi Province in 1958, the Communist Labor University, along with some 100 branch campuses, introduced uneducated farmers and peasants to basic agricultural science and farming techniques through an innovative work-study program until 1980. Drawing on a wealth of archival materials, John Cleverley here explores the inner workings of this unique Chinese institution and the direct personal involvement in its affairs by the nationOs key communist leaders, including Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, and Deng Xiaoping. The community would survive the dictates of political agriculture, famine and pestilence, and the Cultural Revolution, thus mirroring higher education's own cycle of expansion, contraction, and division. Yet the university could not avoid the bitter factional politics and deadly power plays of the 1970s. Open to the charge that it was a utopian experiment, another of Mao's great follies, its undoing was part of the larger canvas of ChinaOs shift from a Maoist vision to DengOs philosophy of pragmatic socialism. This fascinating story illuminates the internal and external politics of an innovative educational enterprise from both an institutional and personal perspective. In the process, the book underscores the larger issues of educational reform and political and social change in China.
John Cleverley is honorary professor, University of Sydney, and managing director of Asian Overseas Services Party Ltd.
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Title:In the Lap of Tigers: The Communist Labor University of Jiangxi ProvinceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 8.96 × 5.84 × 0.62 inPublished:February 22, 2000Publisher:Rowman & Littlefield PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0847699374

ISBN - 13:9780847699377

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 List of Photographs Chapter 2 Abbreviations and Terms Chapter 3 Preface Chapter 4 Map Chapter 5 Introduction: Setting the Scene Part 6 I: ESTABLISHMENT Chapter 7 1 Great Expectations Chapter 8 2 The Founding Chapter 9 3 Branches of Gongda Chapter 10 4 A Dark Side Part 11 II: EDUCATIONAL WORK Chapter 12 5 Classroom and Farm Chapter 13 6 "Staffers, Laborers, and Researchers." Part 14 III: ON POLITICS Chapter 15 7 Guidance from the Chairman Chapter 16 8 A Role for Ideology Chapter 17 9 On Political Movements Part 18 IV: STEPS BACK AND FORWARD Chapter 19 10 Famine and Fortitude Chapter 20 11 A Letter from Mao Zedong Chapter 21 12 Good Friends Rally Chapter 22 13 "The Golden Years" Part 23 V: CYCLE OF REVOLUTION Chapter 24 14 Cultural Wars Chapter 25 15 An Open Door Chapter 26 16 Trial by Media Chapter 27 17 Attacked by Left and Right Part 28 VI: LIFE AND LEGEND Chapter 29 18 Decision Point Chapter 30 19 Life after Death Chapter 31 Afterword Chapter 32 Notes Chapter 33 Select Bibliography Chapter 34 Index Chapter 35 About the Author

From Our Editors

Enter a crucial period of China’s history with In the Lap of Tigers: The Communist Labor University of Jiangxi Province. Between 1958 and 1980, the Communist Labor University operated a bold program to educate labourers with agricultural science and farming techniques. With unprecedented access to the Chinese archives, John Cleverley describes the inner workings of this monumental educational program. With a combined institutional perspective and personal perspective, Cleverley has written an invaluable work on this rarely studied topic. 

Editorial Reviews

Offers an interesting glimpse into attempts to translate revolutionary ideology into meaningful, pragmatic, and mass-based educational actualization. As such, the Gongda story, as narrated in this volume, merits attention as a daring and even noble facet of twentieth-century Chinese societal transformation.