The Great Leap from Myth to History

n an article for Asia Times Online posted earlier this month, Peter Lee examines the cooling prohibition on discussion of the disastrous effects of the Great Leap Forward. The collection of hastily enacted policies resulted in mass starvation. What dutch historian Frank Dikötter has called “Mao’s Great Famine” has long been labeled “The Three Years of Natural Disasters” [三年自然灾害] by official party nomenclature. As this period moves further away on the historical horizon, public commentary, scholarship, and documentation by Chinese nationals is beginning to happen. After providing historical context, Lee points to netizen outrage provoked by a divisive Weibo post by Lin Zhibo, head of People’s Daily Gansu, claiming that accounts of the famine were “lies” used to “bash Chairman Mao”.

History, Politics
Famine, Censorship