Following World War II, China found itself struggling with a conversion to communism that had wreaked havoc on the nation's economy, causing devastating famine and extreme economic depression. In 1966 China's leader,Mao Zedong, gave his support to radicals within the communist party who envisioned a revolutionary social upheaval that would destroy all traces of the reactionary past. This was the beginning of a ten-year period of violence and chaos known as the Cultural Revolution. Many top officials lost their positions and numerous provincial governments came under the control of the radicals. The radical movement was primarily led by students who formed organizations known as "Red Guards," which used violent methods to punish people they saw as "anti-Maoists" or counter-revolutionaries. At the height of the Cultural Revolution (1966-70) China's universities were closed and much of its populace was sent to rural "re-education centres" where they were endoctrinated with Maoist policies. It is during this period that Lihensheng worked as a photojournalist for the "Heilongjiang Daily", shooting.
||Phaidon Pr., revised illustrated