Whether digging irrigation ditches or working backyard furnaces, the people of China were forced to smolder their lives away in the all-consuming destruction that was the Great Leap Forward.
This is Part II in a multi-part series on the Great Leap Forward in China from 1958-1962. It focuses on the horrors of collectivization and the inefficiencies of Mao Zedong's schemes.
Most people look to the Soviet Union when discussing the dangers of communism and totalitarianism. But from 1958-1962 Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China initiated a system of incompetence, violence, and terror on a scale never before seen. The Great Leap Forward destroyed the lives of tens of millions.
This is Part I in a multi-part series on the Great Leap Forward in China. It provides a general overview as well as some rationale for why it happened. More of the logistical details and impact on local populations will be discussed in future episodes.