China’s history has always intrigued readers inside and outside the huge country. Dong Guoqiang and Andrew Walter propose a first and in-depth analysis of political conflict during the Cultural Revolution in a rural Chinese county, Feng County, which, according to the authors, “suffered from deep and enduring factional divisions and violent civil strife” (p. ix).
The methodology the authors followed in their quest for reliable information includes purposefully identified contacts from existing networks of retired former activists, local officials, and soldiers. It also brings together data gathered from local collectors of Cultural Revolution memorabilia, and various documentary sources; for example, directives and notices from authorities in Beijing, similar types of documents from Jiangsu provincial authorities in Nanjing, prefectural authorities in Xuzhou, Feng County authorities, and internal bulletins and documents issued by the county’s interim authorities when Feng County remained under some form of military control between March 1967 and September 1969.
Keywords: China, Cultural Revolution, Jiangsu, Xuzhou, Feng County, Mao Zedong