Episode 15: The Great Leap Forward-Digging China's Grave

Whether digging irrigation ditches or working backyard furnaces, the people of China were forced to smolder their lives away in the all-consuming destruction that was the Great Leap Forward. 

This is Part II in a multi-part series on the Great Leap Forward in China from 1958-1962. It focuses on the horrors of collectivization and the inefficiencies of Mao Zedong's schemes.

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 Mao Zedong looking out at the Yellow River. His belief that the party was master of nature and old ways led to millions of deaths.

Mao Zedong looking out at the Yellow River. His belief that the party was master of nature and old ways led to millions of deaths.

 Irrigation ditches and collectivized farms were the essence of communism during the GLF..

Irrigation ditches and collectivized farms were the essence of communism during the GLF..

 Millions of people literally melted their lives away in backyard furnaces.

Millions of people literally melted their lives away in backyard furnaces.

 The people's commune in action.

The people's commune in action.