You are here

C. II.1.a. Hundred Flower 56-57

During 1956, when mass unrest swept through parts of Eastern Europe, there were some reverberations in China, such as strikes and withdrawals from agricultural cooperatives. Perhaps to defuse unrest, or to engage intellectuals in the next stages of socialist development, the Party leadership, in particular Mao, encouraged intellectuals to speak out in this period, and many cautiously began to do so. This apparent sanctioning of dissent encouraged students also to protest and many workers to start asserting their demands through petitions, marches, hunger strikes, sit-ins and strikes. Mao and the Party responded in mid-1957 by suppressing all dissent and hundreds of thousands of intellectuals were blacklisted, students expelled, and many sentenced to manual labour or exile.

Doolin, Dennis, Communist China: The Politics of Student Opposition, Stanford CA, Hoover Institute, Stanford University, 1964, pp. 70

This is Doolin’s translation of a Beijing Student Union pamphlet, together with his own introduction.

MacFarquahar, Roderick, Contradictions Among the People 1956-1957, Vol. vol. 1 of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, New York, Columbia University Press, 1974, pp. 438

Highly respected scholarly analysis.

Perry, Elizabeth J., Shanghai’s strike wave of 1957, China Quarterly, issue 157 (March), 1994, pp. 1-27

Looks at little known worker unrest accompanying intellectual dissent.

Wu, Ningkun, A Single Tear, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1993, pp. 367

Wu, a university teacher of English educated in the US, returned to China in 1951. This is a personal account of his experiences. The Hundred Flowers campaign is covered pp. 47-72.