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China without maoThe Search for a New Order$
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Immanuel C. Y. Hsü

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780195060560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195060560.001.0001

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The Smashing of the Gang of Four

The Smashing of the Gang of Four

(p.3) 1 The Smashing of the Gang of Four
China without mao

Immanuel C. Y. Hsü

Oxford University Press

1976 was a year of agony for China. Deep bereavement was felt in every corner of the land over the loss of three of its great leaders: Premier Zhou Enlai in January, Marshal Zhu De in July, and Chairman Mao Zedong in September. Added to human grief was a series of natural disasters. In July, a major earthquake demolished the industrial city of Tangshan, and during the next two months the Yellow River flooded seven times. Compounding the human misery and political instability was the succession crisis precipitated by Mao's wife Jiang Qing and her associates, later dubbed the Gang of Four. It was a time of sorrow, yet like darkness before dawn, also a time of hope. Out of disorder a new order was struggling to be born, and with it was the promise of greater stability, progress, and a better life for the people.

Keywords:   Gang of Four, Mao, leaders, Zhou Enlai, Hua Guofeng, Tangshan earthquake, Mao Zedong

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