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Speaker(s): Professor Andrew Walder
Chair: Dr Robin Archer

Recorded on 16 March 2017 at Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

As the Mao era, and in particular the Cultural Revolution fade in memory, its history has fallen out of focus and has been infused with myth. Drawing on his recent book, China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed, Andrew Walder will take up two related questions. First, what were Mao's intentions and what were the actual outcomes of his radical initiatives? Second, why did these outcomes occur? Mao emerges from the historical record as a revolutionary whose radicalism was undiminished by the passage of time. His initiatives frequently had consequences that he had not intended and that frustrated his designs. Despite creating China's first unified modern national state and initiating its modern industrialisation drive, Mao left China divided, backward, and weak.

Andrew Walder is the Denise O'Leary and Kent Thiry Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and Senior Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. A political sociologist, Walder specializes on the sources of conflict, stability, and change in contemporary China. He received his Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Michigan in 1981. Before coming to Stanford in 1997 he taught at Columbia, Harvard, and also headed the Division of Social Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Robin Archer is Director of the Ralph Miliband Programme at LSE.

The Ralph Miliband Programme (@RMilibandLSE) is one of LSE's most prestigious lecture series and seeks to advance Ralph Miliband's spirit of free social inquiry.

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