Saturday, January 07, 2006

Gang of Four no more

The final remaining author of China's “decade of chaos” has died:

YAO WENYUAN, the expert propagandist who laid the ideological foundations for China’s Cultural Revolution, has died in Shanghai aged 74. He was the last surviving member of the Gang of Four...

The four, with Mao, were the main players in the Cultural Revolution, whipping up an ultra-leftist frenzy, purging tens of thousands of supposed enemies and destroying the lives of millions. The party is still reluctant to allow scrutiny of the events.

For the most astonishing biography and exemplar of the phrase "absolute power corrupts absolutely", I highly recommend The Private Life of Chairman Mao. I am also looking forward to reading Mao: The Unknown Story, although this has had more mixed reviews recently.

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