Mao Zedong: “Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan”

(1927)

When Mao Zedong’s “Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan” was published in 1927, Mao was relatively unknown, and peasants played no role in the revolution being planned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Mao wrote the “Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan” to persuade the party leadership to redirect the revolution to the countryside or, at the very least, to give the peasantry a larger role in the revolution. In subsequent decades, Mao would emerge as the indisputable leader of the CCP and the People’s Republic of China, and the peasantry would rise up to overthrow the system that had oppressed them for centuries, just as Mao had predicted in his report. While history would fulfill Mao's vision of a rural revolution, later interpretations of the report would demonstrate the ways in which history could be rewritten.

As is often stated, history is written by the victors.That Mao's report, which was either ignored or criticized...

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Plaque of Mao Zedong (Yale University Art Gallery)

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