The China History Podcast

The Great Leap Forward ( 大跃进) from 1958-1960 caused death and suffering to dozens of millions of people. It sounded like a workable idea but it didn’t turn out like Chairman Mao hoped. When looking back on the life of Mao Zedong, the Great Leap Forward is always viewed as a black mark against his legacy. I welcome you to listen to the podcast and learn all about what happens when central planning goes awry.


Dàyùejìn   大跃进 The Great Leap Forward

Rénmín Gōngshè   人民公社 People's Communes

Nánníng   南宁 Capital city of Guangxi Province

Guǎngxī province 广西    Southern province in China

Chéngdū 成都 Capital of Sichuan province

Xiàn 县 county

Liú Shàoqí 刘少奇    High-ranking government/Party leader, Mao's chief target during Cultural Revolution

Tián Jiāyīng 田家英 Secretary to Chairman Mao

Dèng Xiǎopíng 邓小平  Great Chinese leader

Zhōu Ēnlái 周恩来 Premier of China 1949-1976

Chén Yūn   陈云 Chinese leader mainly in charge of the economy

Chén Yì 陈毅 Chinese military leader and former Shanghai mayor and foreign minister

Duō liànhǎo gāng, jiāsù Shèhuìzhûyì jiànshè! 多临钢加速社会主义建设 Make more steel, increase the speed of building Socialism!

Shēngchǎn duì 生产队 Production Team

Shēngchǎn dàduì   生产大队 Production Brigade

nóngmín   农民 peasantry

Sānnián dà jīhuǎng   三年大饥荒   Three Year Big Famine

Sānnián zìrán zāi hài   三年自然灾害 Three Years of Natural Disasters.

Yáng Jìshéng 楊繼繩 Chinese author of the book on the Great Leap "Tombstone"

Lúshān Conference 庐山会议 Conference held in July 1959 to discuss the Great Leap

Péng Déhuái   彭德怀    Civil War hero and first defense minister

Sháoshān   韶山 Birthplace of Mao Zedong

Jiāngxī province 江西  Province in the southeast

Xiāngtán   湘潭   Large city in Hunan

Jǐnggāngshān 井冈山   Mountainous area in Jiangxi where Mao set up his first base of operations in the 1930's

Tā gǎn shuō huà   他敢说话 he dared to speak up

Lín Biāo   林彪 Defense minister after Peng Dehuai


Direct download: CHP-004-The_Great_Leap_Forward-R2017.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:18pm PDT

Today we look at the Four Great Inventions, the 四大发明, that Lord Francis Bacon hailed as having done more than anything else to transform completely the modern world and mark it off from antiquity and the Middle Ages.  The four great inventions were the compass, gunpowder, paper and printing. Terms used in continue reading >>

Direct download: CHP-003-The_Four_Great_InventionsR2019.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:18pm PDT

A warm welcome to everyone across the world and thank you for listening to the introductory episode of the China History Podcast.  Each week we will bring you a different topic taken from the annals of 5,000 years of Chinese history. We’ll look at the dynasties, historical persons, ancient history, modern history and everything in continue reading >>

Direct download: CHP-001-An_Introduction_to_the_China_History_Podcast.mp3
Category:Podcasts -- posted at: 6:18pm PDT