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Week 5 Lesson 2: Mao moved aside, 1959–1965

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Liam Brooks

on 14 September 2017

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Transcript of Week 5 Lesson 2: Mao moved aside, 1959–1965

Peng Dehuai and his supporters at Lushan, 1959
Peng Dehuai
was the most prominent critic of Mao’s Great Leap Forward at the Lushan Conference of 1959. Here, he lambasted Mao’s focus on the ideological ‘necessity’ of the Great Leap Forward while people were starving:
“Do you hear the people outside? They are not crying ‘Long live Chairman Mao’, but ‘We’re hungry.’ You can’t eat poetry!”
Week 5 Lesson 2: Mao moved aside, 1959–1965.

LI: To understand why and how Mao was moved aside during the period 1959-1965.

SC: Students will be able to explain aspects of continuity and change during Mao’s hiatus.

Peng Dehuai and his supporters at Lushan, 1959
Liu Shaoqi

New Chairman of the PRC from April 1959
*** Watch from Wuhan Plenum to Fact Check 9.
Mao Zedong and his supporters at Lushan, 1959
Chairman of the PRC until April 1959
Still Chairman of the CCP after April 1959
Week 5 Lesson 2: Mao moved aside, 1959–1965

Mao moved aside: 1959-65
Showdown at Lushan 1959:
Peng Dehuai vs Mao Zedong
Zhang Wentian
, a supporter of Peng Dehuai at the Lushan Conference of 1959, asserted that CCP leaders needed to criticise the problems of the Great Leap Forward and famine, even if it meant suffering the consequences:
“pull the emperor from his horse even if that means losing our heads”
Deng Xiaoping
Lin Biao

Fierce defender of Mao at Lushan
Rewarded by replacing Peng Dehuai as Defence Minster
Mao Zedong
at the Lushan Conference in 1959 asserting that reports of the failure of the Great Leap Forward and accompanying famine should not be printed in the press. He contended that to do so would make the workers stop working so hard and would also result in the collapse of the government due to popular revolt:
“If the paper you publish prints bad news every day, people will have no heart for their work… we would perish within a week”.

Zhu De
, former leader of the Red Army during the Long March, lamented the division at the 1959 Lushan Conference between CCP leaders who had worked and struggled side by side for years. At the conference Peng Dehuai, the Minister of Defence, raised concerns about the Great Leap Forward being too harsh and rushed and the resulting famine. Mao responded by sacking him from the post of Minister of Defence. Zhu stated:
“And to think that we once all ate out of the same rice bowl”.
1. Working individually.
2. Paraphrase the information above.
3. We have 12 minutes.
Full transcript