"This book provides a fresh perspective from a contemporary sinologist on Mao’s China and vividly recounts the effect of three months’ close observation on the enthusiasm and fantasies of a Western leftist regarding the communist system." - Woyu Liu, Nanjing University, Europe-Asia Studies, 70:9 (2018)
"Zürcher's Three Months in Mao's China is an important source for scholars interested in the society and culture of the Cold War, and in everyday life and the politics of traveling in Mao's China. It also sheds much light on the Cold War generation of leftist Chinese observers. Thanks to the editors, Zürcher's rich and valuable comments on modern China are retained in this edited work. As a primary source, I recommend it to scholars and teachers of both modern China and Cold War history." - Zixian Liu (University of Toronto), H-Socialisms (May, 2018).
In the fall of 1964, sinologist Erik Zürcher travelled to China for the first time, a country he had been studying since 1947. A collection of Zürcher's personal writings from his trip, including letters and diary entries, Three Months in Mao's China offers not only new insights about the great scholar, but also a rich picture of communist China, which was in those days still almost completely inaccessible to Westerners.
During a tumultuous time in world politics, as Nikita Khrushchev was deposed, Lyndon Johnson won the US presidential election against Barry Goldwater, and China became a nuclear power, Zürcher experienced the reality of China under Mao Zedong. Only recently discovered, these documents portray, viewed through an expert's eye, a land in the midst of its own massive political, social, and economic change. Both a fascinating account by an informed outsider and a reminder of just how much China and the rest of the world have changed over the last fifty years, this is essential reading for anyone interested in East Asia and Asian history as a whole.