Presenter Information

Dorothy Zhang, Sunset High School

Start Date

26-4-2012 9:00 AM

End Date

26-4-2012 10:15 AM

Description

Mao Zedong's rise to power has been viewed through many lenses, such as through the downfall of the Kuomintang or through his opportunism, but this paper examines: to what extent did Mao utilize Edgar Snow’s Red Star Over China to consolidate power? This question is answered by looking at Snow’s work, other historians' view of Snow's work, and reviews of Red Star when the book was first released in 1937. Snow's work was used to determine his aims in interviewing Mao and whether he intended to be a "mouthpiece" for Mao. Other historians' views were used to research Mao's previous foreign relations and his ties to the Chinese Communist Party; and to examine Mao's manipulative techniques in controlling his image. The latter reason is valuable because it proves that Mao went to great lengths in depicting himself and making himself appear as the best option for leadership over China. Reviews from periodicals and The Saturday Review were useful in evaluating whether or not Mao was successful in convincing Chinese civilians and the Western world of his views and policies. Also, the reviews were used to determine the book's audience and the popularity of the book. In conclusion, to consolidate power, a leader needs support, which is exactly what Mao received after the publication of Red Star. Mao certainly utilized Snow’s work primarily for domestic support, and the foreign support he also received was unprecedented yet it strengthened his position and made him more powerful because he essentially had more than just the CCP backing him; the Western World also supported him.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/7726

Included in

Asian History Commons

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Apr 26th, 9:00 AM Apr 26th, 10:15 AM

Mao's Rise to Power: To what extent did Mao Zedong utilize Edgar Snow’s Red Star Over China to consolidate power?

Mao Zedong's rise to power has been viewed through many lenses, such as through the downfall of the Kuomintang or through his opportunism, but this paper examines: to what extent did Mao utilize Edgar Snow’s Red Star Over China to consolidate power? This question is answered by looking at Snow’s work, other historians' view of Snow's work, and reviews of Red Star when the book was first released in 1937. Snow's work was used to determine his aims in interviewing Mao and whether he intended to be a "mouthpiece" for Mao. Other historians' views were used to research Mao's previous foreign relations and his ties to the Chinese Communist Party; and to examine Mao's manipulative techniques in controlling his image. The latter reason is valuable because it proves that Mao went to great lengths in depicting himself and making himself appear as the best option for leadership over China. Reviews from periodicals and The Saturday Review were useful in evaluating whether or not Mao was successful in convincing Chinese civilians and the Western world of his views and policies. Also, the reviews were used to determine the book's audience and the popularity of the book. In conclusion, to consolidate power, a leader needs support, which is exactly what Mao received after the publication of Red Star. Mao certainly utilized Snow’s work primarily for domestic support, and the foreign support he also received was unprecedented yet it strengthened his position and made him more powerful because he essentially had more than just the CCP backing him; the Western World also supported him.