Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

From Red Guards to Thinking Individuals: China’s Youth in the Cultural Revolution

Common scenes in photographs and documentary films of the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) are the human waves of male and female youths on Tiananmen Square eagerly presenting themselves as if they were graced by an audience with their idol, China’s ruler, Mao Zedong. In their military uniforms, army caps, and Red Guard armbands, they wave Mao’s “little red book,” with tears in their eyes, chanting “Long Live Chairman Mao!” These Red Guards of middle, high school, and university stu...

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