Arts and Ideas

BBC Radio 3

Society & Culture, Places & Travel

Chart Positions

Places & Travel 15

The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews and debates with artists, scientists and public figures.


Free Thinking - The Cultural Revolution

May 11th, 2016

Episode 1139 of 1341 episodes

Rana Mitter is joined by the historians Frank Dikötter, Patricia Thornton and Kerry Brown, and by the writers Xinran and Xiaolu Guo, to revisit the Cultural Revolution 50 years on. On 16th May 1966, Mao Zedong initiated a mass movement aimed at purging all "capitalist" and "traditional elements" from the Chinese Communist Party, and from Chinese society as a whole. This initiated the 10 years of social and political turmoil known as the Cultural Revolution. There are no plans to publicly mark the anniversary of these events in China, but elsewhere this troubled period of Chinese history is being re-examined. Frank Dikötter is the author of The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, 1962-1976, the final instalment in the People's Trilogy Producer: Luke Mulhall

Featured Podcast