Chapter 3 Two Versions of Modern Chinese History: a Reassessment of Hu Shi and Lu Xun

In: Remembering May Fourth
  • 1 City University of Hong Kong
  • | 2 University of Pennsylvania

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Abstract

This chapter demonstrates two versions of modern Chinese history separately written and endorsed by the Nationalist Party and the Chinese Communist Party. The political difference between the two parties had led to very different evaluations of many May Fourth writers and intellectuals, among whom Lu Xun and Hu Shi are perhaps the best examples. While Lu Xun was hailed by Mao as “the greatest and most courageous fighter of the new cultural army,” Hu Shi was denounced by generations of Chinese historians who saw him as “the earliest, the most persistent and most uncompromising enemy of Chinese Marxism and socialist thought.” The different political fates of these two leading May Fourth intellectuals thus reveal the complexity of the cultural-political landscape of modern China.

Remembering May Fourth

The Movement and its Centennial Legacy

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