Red Revolution, Green Revolution: Scientific Farming In Socialist China

Hardcover | January 20, 2016

bySigrid Schmalzer

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In 1968, the director of USAID coined the term “green revolution” to celebrate the new technological solutions that promised to ease hunger around the world—and forestall the spread of more “red,” or socialist, revolutions. Yet in China, where modernization and scientific progress could not be divorced from politics, green and red revolutions proceeded side by side.
           
In Red Revolution, Green Revolution, Sigrid Schmalzer explores the intersection of politics and agriculture in socialist China through the diverse experiences of scientists, peasants, state agents, and “educated youth.” The environmental costs of chemical-intensive agriculture and the human costs of emphasizing increasing production over equitable distribution of food and labor have been felt as strongly in China as anywhere—and yet, as Schmalzer shows, Mao-era challenges to technocracy laid important groundwork for today’s sustainability and food justice movements. This history of “scientific farming” in China offers us a unique opportunity not only to explore the consequences of modern agricultural technologies but also to engage in a necessary rethinking of fundamental assumptions about science and society.

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In 1968, the director of USAID coined the term “green revolution” to celebrate the new technological solutions that promised to ease hunger around the world—and forestall the spread of more “red,” or socialist, revolutions. Yet in China, where modernization and scientific progress could not be divorced from politics, green and red revo...

Sigrid Schmalzer is professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the author of The People’s Peking Man, also published by the University of Chicago Press, and coeditor of Visualizing Modern China.

other books by Sigrid Schmalzer

The People's Peking Man: Popular Science and Human Identity in Twentieth-Century China
The People's Peking Man: Popular Science and Human Iden...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:January 20, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022633015X

ISBN - 13:9780226330150

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction


1                      Agricultural Science and the Socialist State
2                      Pu Zhelong: Making Socialist Science Work
3                      Yuan Longping: “Intellectual Peasant”
4                      Chinese Peasants: “Experience” and “Backwardness”
5                      Seeing Like a State Agent
6                      The Lei Feng Paradox
7                      Opportunity and Failure

Epilogue
Acknowledgments
Notes
Sources
Index

Editorial Reviews

"Agricultural science is inherently political. We may distrust the claim of technocrats and agribusiness that they conduct neutral research for the benefit of all, yet few of us would go so far as to advocate a full politicization of research, putting politics in command of laboratories and experimental fields. This, however, is what Maoist China did—and as Schmalzer demonstrates in her meticulously researched and beautifully written book, Maoist agricultural science worked, producing a socialist Green Revolution that was as impressive as the US-led Green Revolutions in India, Mexico, or the Philippines. Without romanticizing Maoist mass science, Schmalzer not only corrects the oft-repeated myth that Maoists were 'anti-science'; she shows that a different, more democratic and inclusive science was and remains possible."