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Unmasking the CCP Lecture Series, "China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed"

Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 4:45pm to 6:15pm

Physical Sciences Building, 120
245 East Avenue

Talk Description: China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed

China’s Communist Party seized power in 1949 after a long period of guerrilla insurgency followed by full-scale war, but the Chinese revolution was just beginning. What were the distinctive accomplishments and failures of that revolutionary period, and what drove Mao Zedong’s motivations in launching the Great Leap Forward and the attack on his own party-state during the Cultural Revolution? In his talk, Professor Walder will examine the rise and fall of the Maoist revolutionary state from 1949 to 1976―an epoch of startling accomplishments and disastrous failures, steered by many forces but dominated above all by Mao.

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Speaker Bio: Professor Andrew G. Walder

Andrew G. Walder is a renowned sociologist and the Denise O'Leary and Kent Thiry Professor at Stanford University, where he is also a senior fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. With a career marked by significant contributions to the understanding of communist regimes and their successor states, Walder has been a leading voice in examining the sources of conflict, stability, and change in these systems. Walder's academic journey includes a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan, followed by teaching positions at Columbia University, Harvard, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Joining Stanford's faculty in 1997, his research has spanned from the socio-economic organization of early Mao-era China to the political mobilization of the late 1960s, and the subsequent collapse and rebuilding of the Chinese party-state. His focus also extends to post-Mao China, analyzing patterns of stratification, social mobility, and inequality. His distinguished career is marked by fellowships and grants from prestigious institutions, including the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Science Foundation. Walder's scholarly work has been recognized with awards from various academic associations, and he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Guggenheim fellow. His recent publications, such as "Fractured Rebellion: The Beijing Red Guard Movement," "China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed," and "Civil War in Guangxi: The Cultural Revolution on China’s Southern Periphery," reflect his deep engagement with the complexities of China's political and social history.

This lecture series is proudly sponsored by The Einaudi Center; The East Asia Program; The Department of History; Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management; The Society for Humanities; Cornell External Education, eCornell; Cornell IT; The Department of Government; The Department of Asian Studies.


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History, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, Government, East Asia Program


cascal, GOVT, Asian studies, casfeatured, govtcal, asianstudiescal, cashum, East Asia program



Andrew Walder

Speaker Affiliation

Denise O'Leary & Kent Thiry Professor at Stanford University

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