CRC Director, Hanchao Lu, publishes Shanghai Tai Chi: The art of being ruled in Mao’s China

Hanchao Lu 2024
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Shanghai Tai Chi (Cambridge University Press, 2023) offers a masterful portrait of daily urban life under socialism in a rich social and political history of one of the world’s most complex cities. Hanchao Lu explores the lives of people from all areas of society – from capitalists and bourgeois intellectuals to women and youth. Utilizing the metaphor of Tai Chi, he reveals how people in Shanghai experienced and adapted to a new Maoist political culture from 1949. Exploring the multifaceted complexity of everyday life and material culture in Mao’s China, Lu addresses the survival of old bourgeois lifestyles under the new proletarian dictatorship, the achievements of intellectuals in an age of anti-intellectualism, the pleasure that urban youth derived from reading taboo literature, the emergence of women’s liberation and the politics of greening and horticulture. This captivating, epitomizing, and vivid history transports readers to history as lived on Shanghai’s streets and back alleyways.

Dr. Hanchao Lu is Professor of History at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Director of the China Research Center in Atlanta. He is the author of three award-winning books: Beyond the Neon Lights (1999), Street Criers (2005), and The Birth of a Republic (2010).

Shanghai Tai Chi Cover

Interview with CRC Associate Marketus Presswood