So on this latest re-read I am struck by parallels to Europe at the same time. Isn’t this what was feared? Confusion and disorder and the rise of a radical communist revolution. Where were the Truman Doctrine and Marshall plan in China? In Europe Marshall said “the patient is sinking while the Dr’s deliberate”. Where were the Dr.s in China? Of course Marshall himself goes to China and desperately tries to get the CCP and the GMD to co-operate but fails. Why?
Cruelties all around. Neither the Nationalists nor the communists can claim in these pages to be great humanitarians. In fact Prof Pickowicz at UCSD claims that the land reform struggles against the land lords that often resulted in murder, orgy like feasts, and then murderous redemption, almost lead to the collapse of the CCP. Had the CCP not pulled back on the reins of the frustrated peasants in that time, then their support might have collapsed.
Bonus question. What do the stars stand for? Extra secret double bonus question. How do you reconcile the answer to the first question with your understanding of Marxism?
Terms in this chapter that I count;
Guomindang CCP (again) Chiang Kai Shek (again)
Mao Zedong George Marshall Lin Biao fabi
Deng Xiaoping PRC Liu Shaoqi Zhou Enlai
So ask yourself, what did Lin Biao do here? What about Deng Xiaoping and George Marshall? Keep focused on the terms and their relation to the chapter and you’ll be fine. Good luck!