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Hillary Rodham Clinton, former First Lady of the United States of America, now seeks to become the forty-fifth President of the United States of America – and the first woman to hold that office. Surely this must be a historic moment in the world. Ah, but no: Hillary Clinton is far from the first First […]
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Fifty years ago yesterday is generally considered the date that Mao Zedong initiated China’s Cultural Revolution. Over the next three years, two million Chinese may have died in the upheaval, with millions more punished and/or internally exiled. While the worst of the violence was over by 1970, aspects of the Cultural Revolution lasted until 1976 when Mao died and the Gang of Four (which included his wife) were deposed. Having only a few years earlier (1958-61) subjected to populace to the madness of the Great Leap Forward — which led to 20 to 40 million deaths from starvation and regime-inspired violence — Mao feared his subjects were beginning to show too much personal initiative and losing their revolutionary ardor to achieve the Communist state. Or, as Zhou Enlai, Mao’s comrade, observed, “Every time the situation improves a little, the people move back towards capitalism”.