Cogs and Wheels: The material culture of revolutionary China

February 20, 2007

China Reconstructs

Filed under: China, Cultural Revolution, Propaganda, Publications — amyjaneb @ 1:41 pm

I’ve just taken delivery of a package containing copies of the English-language propaganda magazine China Reconstructs, dating from the Cultural Revolution.  Most are from the early seventies, although there are a couple from 1966.  They are amazing pieces of source material, given as they represent one of the very few windows on China for the West from the mid-sixties and until Mao’s death in 1976.  From just from a quick flick through some of the copies, it is clear how in the West – and particularly in Britain, given the influence of left-wing politics on the intellectual environment – China must have seemed like a utopian vision; the ultimate expression of socialist society.  All those smiling, happy faces: the abundant harvests and technological progress.  Once I’ve had a chance to digest I’ll write more…

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