HUNDRED DAY WAR: The Cultural Revolution at Tsinghua University by William Hinton

HUNDRED DAY WAR: The Cultural Revolution at Tsinghua University

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Not nearly so fresh nor dramatic nor instructive as Ken Ling's Red Guard memoir The Revenge of Heaven published early this year (p. 1195 -- 1971), Hinton's doctrinaire account of the 1968 Cultural Revolution at Tsinghua University, China's standout school of science and engineering, concentrates on sorting out who was a true-red proletarian Maoist as opposed to petty-bourgeois ""capitalist-roader"" as opposed to ""cow-devil"" and ""snake-god."" Hinton, devout advocate of the Communist working class and Mao Tse-tung's Thought, stresses ""how easily a reactionary could maneuver under the cover of a false red flag,"" insinuating revisionist thinking which ""leads to arrogance, isolation, and finally to crimes against the people, all dressed in the most noble 'left' rhetoric,"" a lesson he suggests young Americans (presumably radical students) might well ""ponder."" Long conversations with participants in the ""war"" are reproduced -- Hinton visited the university for several weeks in 1971 -- along with texts of ""big-character posters"" from student rebels and of course Mao (who is quoted so frequently that this might be considered a supplement to the Red Book. The proletariat, which is credited with bringing peace to the school, is puffed again and again, the reader told on at least three occasions that after the climactic battle five workers ""lay dead"" with more than 700 wounded while through it all these noble comrades ""never broke their non-violent discipline."" Recommended for lumpen cadre; others, if interested, will read Ling.

Pub Date: Dec. 8th, 1972
Publisher: Monthly Review Press