Mao More Than Ever: The Chairman's Legacy and Today's China with Jeremiah Jenne

Mao More Than Ever: The Chairman's Legacy and Today's China with Jeremiah Jenne


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December 26 is the birthday of Mao Zedong, the man considered the founder of "New China." Learn how, even forty-five years after his death, Mao's legacy continues to shape China in surprising ways with important implications for the country and the world.

Each morning in Tiananmen Square, in the heart of China’s capital Beijing, hundreds of people line up for a chance to view the body of Mao Zedong. Many of those in the crowd, even those too young to remember life under the Chairman, still revere Mao as their country’s founder. Others who are waiting in line, especially those who came of age during Mao’s time in power, have a more complicated relationship with Mao and his legacy. While China is a vastly different place than when Mao died in 1976, his image still looms large over China, its people, and its leaders.

Jeremiah Jenne has lived in Beijing for nearly two decades. In this lively, informative, and occasionally irreverent seminar, we will discuss the life and legacy of Mao Zedong. How did he come to power? What did he want to achieve? Is he the man of Communist Party mythology or the monster portrayed by dissidents and dissenters who suffered under his rule? What legacy did he leave behind for his successors, and why does Mao still matter in an age of GDP targets, IPOs, tech start-ups, and globalization?

Designed to inform curiosity and inspire future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the connections between the not-so-distant past and China today.

Jeremiah is an American writer and historian based in Beijing since 2002. He has taught Chinese history and philosophy for nearly 10 years and has written extensively on China for a number of publications including The Economist, The Atlantic Monthly, Journal of Asian Studies, Asia Society, Los Angeles Review of Books, and The World of Chinese. His work can be found in the anthologies China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance, The Insider’s Guide to Beijing, and the 2015 collection While We’re Here: China Stories from a Writer’s Colony. He has appeared on Al Jazeera English, NPR, APM Marketplace, Beijing Radio, and the Sinica Podcast. Jeremiah produces and co-hosts the podcast Barbarians at the Gate and is frequently asked to speak on Chinese culture and history to corporate and school groups. Jeremiah also maintains the popular Chinese history website granitestudio.org

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
89%
(8)
11%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
S.Z.
Enthusiastic

Jeremiah Jenne has the not so common knowledge of his subject, combined with a fresh enthusiasm. His affection for his subject matter is clear, and his willingness to take all questions makes these “seminars” work as a discussion and not a lecture.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

K
K.M.

Guest did not leave comment

P
P.A.
Great and fair overview of a hugely controversial figure

Jeremiah did something quite outstanding during this fantastic presentation; he explained the widespread attraction, then and now, to a figure us in the west would be inclined (justifiably) to find totally abhorrent. He is, but that doesn't explain his figure enough. Mao's transition from revolutionary leader to political one is a disaster that not enough discuss. But this tremendously well-paced guide to his life, faithfully explains the influence of Mao's military period which bled into his longer political one with its interactions with Soviet Russia and the US.

I can't recommend this conversation enough! A special mention also for the analogy of a 7 year marriage crisis to Mao's knee-jerk decision to "let a thousand flowers bloom" -- hilarious!

Thanks a lot :-)

J
J.N.

Excellent. Clear, themes well explained and coordinated, educational. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable and refreshingly humble guide

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
89%
(8)
11%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
S.Z.
Enthusiastic

Jeremiah Jenne has the not so common knowledge of his subject, combined with a fresh enthusiasm. His affection for his subject matter is clear, and his willingness to take all questions makes these “seminars” work as a discussion and not a lecture.

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

K
K.M.

Guest did not leave comment

P
P.A.
Great and fair overview of a hugely controversial figure

Jeremiah did something quite outstanding during this fantastic presentation; he explained the widespread attraction, then and now, to a figure us in the west would be inclined (justifiably) to find totally abhorrent. He is, but that doesn't explain his figure enough. Mao's transition from revolutionary leader to political one is a disaster that not enough discuss. But this tremendously well-paced guide to his life, faithfully explains the influence of Mao's military period which bled into his longer political one with its interactions with Soviet Russia and the US.

I can't recommend this conversation enough! A special mention also for the analogy of a 7 year marriage crisis to Mao's knee-jerk decision to "let a thousand flowers bloom" -- hilarious!

Thanks a lot :-)

J
J.N.

Excellent. Clear, themes well explained and coordinated, educational. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable and refreshingly humble guide