Most people look to the Soviet Union when discussing the dangers of communism and totalitarianism. But from 1958-1962 Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China initiated a system of incompetence, violence, and terror on a scale never before seen. The Great Leap Forward destroyed the lives of tens of millions.
This is Part I in a multi-part series on the Great Leap Forward in China. It provides a general overview as well as some rationale for why it happened. More of the logistical details and impact on local populations will be discussed in future episodes.