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Trying To Make Sense Of China's Cultural Revolution10:48
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A poster showing the late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong hangs on a wall inside a restaurant in Beijing on May 13, 2016.
Fifty years after the Cultural Revolution spread bloodshed and turmoil across China, the Communist-ruled country is driving firmly down the capitalist road, but Mao Zedong's legacy remains -- like the embalmed leader himself -- far from buried. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images)
A poster showing the late Chinese chairman Mao Zedong hangs on a wall inside a restaurant in Beijing on May 13, 2016. Fifty years after the Cultural Revolution spread bloodshed and turmoil across China, the Communist-ruled country is driving firmly down the capitalist road, but Mao Zedong's legacy remains -- like the embalmed leader himself -- far from buried. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images)
This article is more than 5 years old.

Mao Zedong, chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, launched the Cultural Revolution 50 years ago this month. The movement was designed to re-assert Communist ideology and purge his enemies, but it devolved into a period of chaos and violence, with hundreds of thousands of people killed. And later, even the Communist Party labeled it a catastrophe. We ask Guobin Yang, who has studied the Cultural Revolution, to help us understand what happened.

Guest

  • Guobin Yang, professor of communication and sociology at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. He tweets @yanggoubin

This segment aired on May 13, 2016.

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