HIST 397: From Mao to Now: China's Red Revolution: Primary Sources

Library resources on China Communist revolution and Maoism, from its ideological origins through its implementation during and after the Chinese Communist revolution, from 1949 to present.

Primary Source

Primary source analysis: 

Your primary source analysis should analyze two primary sources that are related to the topic of your research paper. This “paper” does not have to have an argument or an introduction or conclusion, and you may treat each source separately if that makes the most sense. It will be evaluated for how well you have done the following things:

  1. describe each document, who wrote it, when, how, why, and for what audience;
  2. critically analyze the contents of each document - does it have any biases? what interesting things have you found in the source that relate to your paper topic?;
  3. provide full bibliographic information for your documents. You may use anything you write for this assignment in your final research paper, so you should really treat this primary source analysis as a preliminary building block for the final paper.

Personal Names

"Mao Zedong" OR "Mao Tse-Tung" 
"Jiang Qing" OR "Chiang Ching"
"Zhou Enlai" OR "Chou En-lai"
"Deng Xiaoping" OR "Teng Hsiao-ping"  
Jiang Zemin
Hu Jintao
Chiang, Kai-shek

Kuomintang OR Guomindang

Examples of Primary Sources

Events & Slogans

Hundred Flowers Movement/Campaign

The Anti-Rightist Campaign

The Great Famine

Great leap forward (Da yue jin)

"Learn from Da zhai"

The Cultural Revolution or the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

sent-down (xia fang)

Gang of four
"Revolution is not a crime, to rebel is justified"


Revolutionary model operas/performing arts 


  •   The Red Lantern (Hongdeng ji)
  •   Sha Jia Village (Sha Jia bang)
  •   Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategies (Zhi qu wei hu shan)


Tiananmen Square Incident (China : 1989)

"Serve the People"
Smash the four olds, establish the four news
"Three Red Flags" (General Line, the Great Leap Forward, and the People’s Communes.)

Searching the Online Catalog for Primary Sources


Examples of keywords that retrieve primary sources: sources, personal narratives, diaries, papers, letters, interviews, documents, images.  Another way to find primary sources is to do an author search of the individual or organization whose writings you hope to findThis same approach can be used in WorldCat and HathiTrust

Here is an example of how to search the KU Catalog using Advanced Search.  If you do not know Chinese be sure to set the language limits.


English Language Primary Sources

Titles (Examples)

After the 16th party congress [electronic resource] : the civil and the military

Analysis of the classes in Chinese society
Chairman Mao talks to the people; talks and letters: 1956-1971

China’s economic reform : a study with documents

Chinese communism, selected documents

Collected works of Mao Tse-tung (1917-1949)

The Communist hypothesis (Alain Badiou ; translated by David Macey and Steve Corcoran)

Damage control : the Chinese Communist Party in the Jiang Zemin era

Four essays on philosophy / Mao Tse-tung.

Gang of one : memoirs of a Red Guard 

The great famine in China, 1958-1962 : a documentary history

Mao, Zedong, 1893-1976.. Speeches. Selections. English. The secret speeches of Chairman Mao : from the hundred flowers to the great leap forward

Mao’s last dancer

On "imperialism and all reactionaries are paper tiger." 

People’s Republic of China, 1949-1979 : a documentary survey (CIA documentary) 
 v. 1. 1949-1957, From liberation to crisis.
 v. 2. 1957-1965, The Great Leap Forward and its aftermath.
 v. 3. 1965-1967, The Cultural Revolution, part I.
 v. 4. 1967-1968, The Cultural Revolution, part II.
 v. 5. 1968-1979, After the Cultural Revolution. 

People’s Republic of China, 1979-1984 : a documentary survey

The People’s Republic of China : a documentary history of revolutionary change 

Policy conflicts in post-Mao China : a documentary survey with analysis 

Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung [electronic resource]. 

Religious policy and practice in Communist China; a documentary history 

Samples of Red Guard publications

The struggle for new China / Soong Ching Ling.

 Wild lily, prairie fire : China’s road to democracy, Yan’an to Tian’anmen, 1942-1989