Rebecca Karl Interviewed in Huffington Post

Mao Rebecca Karl, author of Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World: A Concise History, is interviewed in the Huffington Post today by Jeffrey Wasserstrom. The book is for general readers. Karl says, "Over the years, in my teaching and non-academic life, I have encountered
many people – students, family, concerned citizens of various political
persuasions – who are baffled and confused about China's past and its
current trajectory. I decided I wanted to write a book for all of those
people: the ones who are genuinely interested but perhaps not very
knowledgeable about China." Karl says the chapter on the Great Leap Forward was the most difficult to write: "For this, I needed to maintain a decent line of analytical rigor, even
while being very clear about the hideous results of the period. Since
the whole book is designed to counter the idea that Mao was just a crazy
meglamaniacal tyrant, I needed to deal with the issues raised by the
theorization of the socialist economy – which were, after all, the root
of the Great Leap period – without dissolving the human tragedies into
abstractions. This was a real challenge." Karl,  Associate Professor of History at New York University, is also the author of Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (2002).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s