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The Cultural Revolution Print Page
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For Elementary & Middle School Students

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Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution - Ji-Li Jiang
Story of a twelve year old daughter of a wealthy family who was confronted with the choice of denouncing her father during the Cultural Revolution or sacrificing her own future in her beloved Communist Party.

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Dancing to Freedom: The True Story of Mao's Last Dancer - Li Cunxin; Anne Spudvilas (Illustrator)
A picture book version of Mao's Last Dancer.

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Mao's Last Dancer (Young Reader's Edition) - Li Cunxin
Li Cunxin, a principal dancer with the Houston Ballet and Australian Ballet, explains how his childhood of poverty in rural China changed when he was selected by Madame Mao to attend the dance academy in Beijing, tells how his devotion to Communist philosophy was shaken during his first visit to the U.S. as part of an exchange program with the Houston Ballet, and discusses his eventual defection to the West.

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Snow Falling in Spring: Coming of Age in China During the Cultural Revolution - Moying Li
The author reveals the events of her life from age twelve to adulthood when the Cultural Revolution of Mao Zedong destroyed family customs and life as they knew it.

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China's Son: Growing Up in the Cultural Revolution - Da Chen
A version of the author's biography Colors of the Mountain for younger readers.

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Mao and Me - Chen Jiang Hong; Claudia Z. Bedrick (Translator)
Presents an illustrated memoir of the author's upbringing in China in the 1960s, when Chairman Mao proclaimed the Cultural Revolution, covering his interest in drawing at an early age and the death of his grandfather.

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Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party - Ying Chang Compestine
Starting in 1972 when she is nine years old, Ling, the daughter of two doctors, struggles to make sense of the communists' Cultural Revolution, which empties stores of food, homes of appliances deemed "bourgeois," and people of laughter.

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Little Leap Forward: A Boy in Beijing - Guo Yue; Clare Farrow; Helen Cann (Illustrator)
In Communist China in 1966, eight-year-old Leap Forward learns about freedom while flying kites with his best friend, by trying to get a caged wild bird to sing, and through the music he is learning to play on a bamboo flute.

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Red Land Yellow River: A Story from the Cultural Revolution - Ange Zhang
In 1966, Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution swept through China and transformed the life of Beijing teenager Ange Zhang. Ange longed to join the Red Guard with his classmates, but was denied membership after his father, a famous writer, was arrested and charged with being a counter-revolutionary. As Ange struggled to maintain his friends' respect, he began to question the Revolution and his role in it.

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A Little Tiger in the Chinese Night: An Autobiography in Art - Song Nan Zhang (Illustrator)
This picture book tells the author's life story from growing up in Shanghai, through the Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen Square, and up to the present. The drawings help make some of the events of twentieth century China more accessible for younger readers, but a picture book for all ages.

 

History

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Ten Years of Madness: Oral Histories of China's Cultural Revolution - Feng Jicai
Testimonies of people from various walks of life who were persecuted during the Cultural Revolution, collected by a noted Chinese author.

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Mao's Children in New China: Voices from the Red Guard Generation - Yarong Jiang; David Ashley
Short life histories and peronal memoirs of former Cultural Revolution participants.

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The Red Mirror: Children of China's Cultural Revolution - Chihua Wen; Bruce Jones;
These evocative stories bring to life the tragic personal impact of the Cultural Revolution on the families of China's intellectuals.

 

Films

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Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
At the height of Mao's Cultural Revolution, two teenage boys are among thousands exiled to the countryside for "re-education." The narrator and his best friend find themselves in a remote village where their only distractions are a violin and the beautiful daughter of the local tailor.

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China: A Century of Revolution
This powerful program takes a remarkable first-hand look at China's tumultuous history, examining its social, political and cultural upheaval through eyewitness accounts, rare archival film footage and insightful commentary. pt. 1 China in revolution : 1911-1949.-- pt. 2 The Mao years : 1949-1976.-- pt. 3 Born under the red flag : 1976-1997.

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Hibiscus Town
A beancurd seller and her husband find their hard saved earnings for a new house to be a liability during the Cultural Revolution.

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Morning Sun
This film provides a multi-perspective view of a tumultuous period as seen through the eyes--and reflected in the hearts and minds--of members of the high-school generation that was born around the time of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, and that came of age in the 1960s.

 

Mao Tse Tung: China's Peasant Emperor

Told through the accounts of those who have met and studied him, loved and loathed him--includes archive film and pictures going back to the very earliest days of Mao's life as well as unique film of China at the turn of the century.

Websites & Online Curriculum

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Propaganda Art

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Chinese Posters:Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution - Lincoln Cushing

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Cultural Revolution: Posters & Memorabilia - Victoria Edison

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Picturing Power in the People's Republic of China: Posters of the Cultural Revolution

 

Fiction

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Under the Red Flag - Ha Jin
Twelve stories that take place during China's Cultural Revolution.

 

Curriculum

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China's Cultural Revolution
Five lessons for secondary students. From the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE).

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