Stanford, California : Stanford University Press, 
Book — xiii, 221 pages ; 23 cm
Introduction : the story of Mao's revolution
Arriving : work teams
Organizing : the search for bitterness
Dividing : creating peasants and landlords
Struggling : inside the furnace of revolution
Turning : the promise of fanshen
Conclusion : agrarian revolution in the rearview
Appendix : major land laws and rural campaigns.
Mao Zedong's land reform campaigns comprise a critical moment in modern Chinese history, and were crucial to the rise of the CCP. In Land Wars, Brian DeMare draws on new archival research to offer an updated and comprehensive history of this attempt to fundamentally transform the countryside. Across this vast terrain loyal Maoists dispersed, intending to categorize poor farmers into prescribed social classes, and instigate a revolution that would redistribute the land. To achieve socialist utopia, the Communists imposed and performed a harsh script of peasant liberation through fierce class struggle. While many accounts of the campaigns give false credence to this narrative, DeMare argues that the reality was much more complex and brutal than is commonly understood-while many villagers prospered, there were families torn apart and countless deaths. Uniquely weaving narrative and historical accounts, DeMare powerfully highlights the often devastating role of fiction in determining history. This corrective retelling ultimately sheds new light on the contemporary legacy of land reform, a legacy fraught with inequality and resentment, but also hope. (source: Nielsen Book Data)
Book — 1 online resource (272 pages) : digital, PDF file(s).
Preface-- List of abbreviations-- Introduction: performing Mao's revolution--
1. The revolution will be dramatized: Red drama troupes--
2. Acting against Japan: drama troupes in North China--
3. Playing soldiers and peasants: civil war and agrarian reform--
4. Staging rural revolution: land reform operas--
5. State agents and local actors: cultural work in the early PRC--
6. Peasants on stage: amateur actors in socialist China--
7. Tradition in conflict: professional drama troupes and the PRC state-- Conclusion-- Select bibliography.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
Charting their training, travels, and performances, this innovative study explores the role of the artists that roamed the Chinese countryside in support of Mao's communist revolution. DeMare traces the development of Mao's 'cultural army' from its genesis in Red Army propaganda teams to its full development as a largely civilian force composed of amateur and professional drama troupes in the early years of the PRC. Drawing from memoirs, artistic handbooks, and rare archival sources, Mao's Cultural Army uncovers the arduous and complex process of creating revolutionary dramas that would appeal to China's all-important rural audiences. The Communists strived for a disciplined cultural army to promote party policies, but audiences often shunned modern and didactic shows, and instead clamoured for traditional works. DeMare illustrates how drama troupes, caught between the party and their audiences, did their best to resist the ever growing reach of the PRC state. (source: Nielsen Book Data)