Brian James DeMare
Mao's Cultural Army
Drama Troupes in Chinas Rural Revolution
Cambridge University Press 2015
New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in East Asian StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Popular CultureNew Books Network May 2, 2016 Carla Nappi
The Chinese Revolution was a profoundly theatrical event. Brian James DeMare’s new book explores the relationship between drama and political action in China, from the earliest era of communist Red Drama to the establishment of Mao’s cultural army and beyond. Mao’s Cultural Army: Drama Troupes in Chinas Rural Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2015) looks carefully at the importance of propaganda teams and drama troupes during the Communists resistance of Japanese invasion, victory in the civil war, and efforts at state-building, and consolidation of their regime in the early years of the PRC. DeMare brings readers into the fascinating world of drama in this period, paying special attention to the material culture of dramatic troupes, the often-harrowing lives of their members (including children), the challenges they faced in navigating across rural and urban cultures, and some of the most popular and important works they performed. Its a tremendously engaging and enlightening study of an important topic.