The Tragedy Of Lin Biao: Riding The Tiger During The Cultural Revolution, 1966-1971

This book offers a pathbreaking study and an interpretation which radically undermines the standard view of Lin Biao as an ambitious politician who maneuvered his way to the top, adopted a radical position during the Cultural Revolution to promote his own interests, and eventually came undone by seeking to consolidate his own power and military dominance over the polity, thus leading to a vicious power struggle with Mao.
The Lin Biao affair, which saw the Minister of Defence dramatically rise to become Mao Zedong’s designated successor at the start of the Cultural Revolution in 1966 and, even more dramatically, die in a plane crash while fleeing his country in September 1971, remains the least understood of all Chinese Communist Party elite conflicts of the Maoist era. Despite the pivotal importance of Lin’s rise and fall in the history of contemporary China, his career has received little scholarly attention.
In this pathbreaking study Frederick Teiwes and Warren Sun offer an interpretation which radically undermines the standard view of Lin Biao as an ambitious politician who manoeuvred his way to the top, adopted a radical position during the Cultural Revolution to promote his own interests, and eventually came undone by seeking to consolidate his own power and military dominance over the polity, thus leading to a vicious power struggle with Mao. They reveal Lin as someone basically uninterested in power or even politics, who was thrust into leading positions and the successor role by Mao against his wishes; who never opposed Mao politically but instead attempted to follow his wishes in every way to the extent that they could be determined; who had no policy programme, whose rare initiatives were on the side of moderation; and whose political decline was due to Mao’s reaction to complex factors unconnected with either a bid by Lin for personal aggrandizement or an effort to entrench army power. In this Teiwes and Sun refute both the official Chinese verdict on Lin Biao and the prevailing Western interpretation.

Title: The Tragedy of Lin Biao Riding the Tiger During the Cultural Revolution, 1966-1971
Author:
ISBN: 0824818113,9780824818111
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Genre: History / General
Date Published:
Pages: 251
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