Maos Crusade: Politics and Policy Implementation in Chinas Great Leap Forward

Hardcover | June 7, 2001

byAlfred L. Chan

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During 1957 and 1958 Mao was seized by a vision that the Chinese economy could develop rapidly in leaps and bounds by relying on intuition and mass spontaneity. As a consequence, he single-handedly launched a colossal mobilization campaign called the Great Leap Forward, which featured manyradical policy innovations, including the people's communes. This book is the first in-depth and original study of policy formulation and implementation during the Leap to link the roles of Mao, the central leaders, the ministries, and the province of Guangdong. Rejecting the theory that the Leapwas an outcome of bureaucratic politics and competition, the study establishes beyond doubt the supreme and dominant position of Mao in initiating and commanding the Leap. Alfred L. Chan goes further than propounding a Mao-dominant model by documenting the strategic and tactical moves made by Mao inorder to neutralize all opposition and to carry the day. He also discusses in detail the policy roles and input of other top leaders on whom the improvising Mao relied to feed his imagination and to flesh out his policies. In the chapters on the implementation of the Leap, Dr Chan explores how theministries of Metallurgy and Agriculture were transformed from bureaucratic agencies into agents of mobilization, and how impossible targets forced them to keep up appearances by focussing on the rituals of mass mobilization. Similarly, other chapters on Guangdong show the simultaneously fervent,ritualistic, and desperate attempts to implement every hunch and intuition emanating from the centre. Exhaustive research using new material made available in the post-Mao era, as well as archives from the 1950s and 1960s, has yielded novel and original insights into the leader Mao, centraldecision-making, and policy implementation in the communist hierarchy.

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During 1957 and 1958 Mao was seized by a vision that the Chinese economy could develop rapidly in leaps and bounds by relying on intuition and mass spontaneity. As a consequence, he single-handedly launched a colossal mobilization campaign called the Great Leap Forward, which featured manyradical policy innovations, including the peopl...

Alfred L. Chan received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Toronto. He has taught at the University of Toronto, McGill University, and Carleton University. Currently he is an associate professor of political science at Huron College University, University of Western Ontario, Canada. He is also a Research Associate o...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:334 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.87 inPublished:June 7, 2001Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199244065

ISBN - 13:9780199244065

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Great Leap Forward (1958-1960)2. Central Policy Formulation Under a Dominant Mao3. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural and Agricultural Policies in 19584. The Ministry of Metallurgy and the Policies of Industrial Development in 19585. Agricultural and Rural Policies in Guangdong, 19586. Policies of Industrial Development in Guangdong, 19587. Conclusion