Historian: Hu Qiaomu
Books: Thirty Years of the Chinese Communist Party (1951)
Profession: Communist politician, historian, sociologist, philosopher
Hu Qiaomu was a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politician and propagandist and arguably the party’s most prominent historian.
Born in Jiangsu province to a wealthy landowning family, Hu studied history, philosophy and foreign studies at Zhejiang and Beijing universities, before joining the CCP in 1935.
Hu replaced Chen Boda as Mao Zedong’s secretary (1945-49) before forming the state news agency Xinhua and heading the People’s Daily newspaper.
In 1956, Hu was elected to the CCP Central Committee and became a deputy director of the party’s propaganda unit. He fell out of favour in 1962 after encouraging the Beijing historian Wu Han to publish his play Hai Rui Dismissed from Office.
Disliked by Jiang Qing, Hu was marginalised and persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. He was restored to the Central Committee in 1974 after a period of self-criticism.
In 1951, Hu published Thirty Years of the Chinese Communist Party. This text received the backing of Mao and for many years served as the CCP’s official history.
Hu’s perspective was undoubtedly Maoist. He hailed Mao as an astute leader, a clever military strategist and the driving force behind the Chinese Revolution. Hu also emphasised the Chairman’s ideological importance, writing that only Mao was able to correctly interpret and apply Marxist-Leninism to the Chinese situation.
Thirty Years of the Chinese Communist Party also gave praise and recognition to orthodox Marxism, Joseph Stalin, the Comintern and the Soviet Union, acknowledging their role in the revolution and the formation of the CCP.
“The Communist Party of China is the product of the synthesis of the Chinese working class movement with Marxist-Leninism.”
“At the first crucial juncture in the Chinese Revolution, Comrade Mao Zedong showed his great revolutionary genius. He was the first to employ the methods of Marxist-Leninism to analyse the class relationships in China, and recognised that the success or failure of the Chinese Revolution depended on whether the working class was able to exercise leadership of the peasantry.”
“Exactly as Comrade Stalin had foreseen, the imperialists stepped up their intervention against the Chinese Revolution… Under instruction from the imperialists, Jiang Jieshi staged a counter-revolutionary coup in Shanghai on April 12th, massacred large numbers of workers and Communist Party members…”
“Many communists displayed boundless loyalty to the cause of the working class and the people, as well as a high degree of organising ability. But with the exception of Comrade Mao Zedong and a limited number of others, they failed to study Marxism-Leninism serious and to comprehend its spirit.”
“Comrade Mao Zedong appraised in detail the significance of the war waged by the Chinese Red Army. He pointed out that the creation and expansion of the Red Army and revolutionary bases were ‘the highest form of the peasant struggle under the leadership of the proletariat’.”
“The Communist Party of China showed unprecedented solidarity and unity at its Seventh Party Congress. This solidarity and unity were brought about by the victorious development of the Chinese Revolution since the Zunyi conference in January 1935, under the correct leadership of the Central Committee of the Party.”
“The 30 years which the Chinese Communist Party has passed through are 30 great and glorious years, 30 years in which the Chinese Communist Party and the working class and people of China, under the leadership of Comrade Mao Zedong, fought heroically against the imperialist aggressors and their lackeys.”
“The history of the Chinese Communist Party proves that without the leadership of such a party, a party of the Bolshevik type which is well disciplined and armed with the theories of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin… would be unable to overthrow the rule of powerful imperialists.”
“Without the guidance of Marxism-Leninism and the teachings of Mao Zedong it would have been impossible to lead the Chinese working class and the Chinese people to victory.”
“Long live the great, glorious and consistently correct Communist Party of China and its leader, Comrade Mao Zedong! Long live the teacher of the working people of the whole world, Comrade Stalin!”
Title: “Historian: Hu Qiaomu”
Authors: Glenn Kucha, Jennifer Llewellyn
Publisher: Alpha History
Date published: March 24, 2016
Date accessed: May 28, 2023