The Cultural Revolution

In Our Time | 17 December 2020 | 0h 48m | Listen Later | iTunes
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Chairman Mao and the revolt he led within his own party from 1966, setting communists against each other, to renew the revolution that he feared had become too bourgeois and to remove his enemies and rivals. Universities closed and the students formed Red Guard factions to attack the ‘four olds’ – old ideas, culture, habits and customs – and they also turned on each other, with mass violence on the streets and hundreds of thousands of deaths. Over a billion copies of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book were printed to support his cult of personality before Mao died in 1976 and the revolution came to an end.