Introduced and Annotated by Justin Bayes

The primary source “Regulations Governing the Publication of Books about the ‘Great Cultural Revolution’” details multiple guidelines referring to the past and future productions of the history of the Cultural Revolution. Historical analysis of the Cultural Revolution was undesired by the Chinese government, as displayed through statements in the document such as “[We] reaffirm the regulations laid down by the [Propaganda] Center in the part and stress the detrimental effect that the publication of books of this kind [(Dictionary of the Cultural Revolution)] may have.”[1] Propaganda during the 1980s played an integral role within the Chinese government, with the Central Propaganda Department overseeing the publication of material.[2] The propaganda in the 1980’s was markedly different from previous decades.[3] Instead of “paeans to Mao Zedong or verbal attacks on foreign imperialism, foreign propaganda cadres were told they must de-emphasize the ‘political content’ (meaning Marxist-Leninist-Maoist aspects) of their work and stress that China was a democratic country with a proper legal system.”[4] This document shows that even in 1984, nearly a decade after the end of the Cultural Revolution, the government was either embarrassed or feared the possible outcomes of allowing its citizens to read an accurate representation of events.

Bibliography

Brady, Anne Marie. Marketing Dictatorship: Propaganda and Thought Work in Contemporary China. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008, 12-13.

Schoenhals, Michael. China’s Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1996.

[1] Michael Schoenhals, China’s Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1996), 310.

[2] Anne Marie Brady, Marketing Dictatorship: Propaganda and Thought Work in Contemporary China (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), 12-13.

[3] Ibid., 152.

[4] Ibid.

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