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    The 1970s: the death of Mao and life of Chairman Gonzalo

    Lovell, Julia (2021) The 1970s: the death of Mao and life of Chairman Gonzalo. In: Cheek, T. and Mühlhahn, K. and van de Ven, H. (eds.) The Chinese Communist Party: A Century in Ten Lives. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 125-147. ISBN 9781108842778.

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    Chapter 6 focuses on the afterlives of Maoist propaganda outside China following the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, which soon led the end of Cultural Revolution policies. The relatively peaceful post-Mao transition in China contrasts with Maoism outside China. The outbreak of the millenarian “Shining Path” revolution in Peru, led by former philosophy professor Abimael Reinoso Guzmán, better known as Chairman Gonzalo, claimed an estimated 69,000 lives and uprooted those of 600,000 more. In the context of global Maoist ideas of continuous revolution and political militancy, Guzmán’s path to becoming a left-wing revolutionary makes sense, especially his time spent in China and his horror at poverty, systemic racism, and government corruption witnessed in urban Peru. The Sino-Soviet split provided a lasting impetus for Guzmán’s embrace of Maoist revolutionary violence, along with the supply of weapons and training for Latin American leftists. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the development of the Shining Path under the tutelage of Guzmán from an intellectual movement of urban professors and rural students to Maoist military insurrection, indiscriminate state brutality and scorched-earth policies, before turning to the movement’s more moderate legacy in Nepal, where it continues to the present day.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Julia Lovell
    Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2022 14:48
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:15


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