In the fall of 1964, sinologist Erik Zürcher travelled to China for the first time, a country he had been studying since 1947. A collection of Zürcher's personal writings from his trip, including letters and diary entries, Three Months in Mao's China offers not only new insights about the great scholar, but also a rich picture of communist China, which was in those days still almost completely inaccessible to Westerners.
During a tumultuous time in world politics, as Nikita Khrushchev was deposed, Lyndon Johnson won the US presidential election against Barry Goldwater, and China became a nuclear power, Zürcher experienced the reality of China under Mao Zedong. Only recently discovered, these documents portray, viewed through an expert's eye, a land in the midst of its own massive political, social, and economic change. Both a fascinating account by an informed outsider and a reminder of just how much China and the rest of the world have changed over the last fifty years, this is essential reading for anyone interested in East Asia and Asian history as a whole.
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Kim van der Zouw is an editor and translator.
Erik-Jan Zürcher is director of the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, as well as member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Turkish Studies at Leiden University.
Rob de Wijk is the Director of the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS) and Professor of International Relations and Security at the Campus the Hague of Leiden University. He was previously a Professor in the field of International Relations at the Royal Netherlands Military Academy and Head of the Defense Concepts Department at the Dutch Ministry of Defense.