2016-17 marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. AFE is offering a re-examination in two strands: one strand will consider the political and social ramifications of the movement through independent reading of China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed, by Andrew Walder, with 4 webinars with the author. The second strand, will read literary and autobiographical accounts of life under Mao in four different periods, from 1949-1980, divided among four book group offerings. Teachers are free to participate in all just one or all 5 of the reading groups offered in both strands.

The Four Books  is a new literary work by one of China's preeminent writers, Yang Lianke, fictionalizing the experience of 4 "rightists" during the Great Leap Forward campaign of the late 1950s, followed by the starvation of the early 1960s.