As one of history's most horrific political upheavals, the Cultural Revolution began in 1966, when the Chinese Communist Party officially launched the radical movement on the orders of its autocratic chairman, Mao Zedong. He intended for the movement to revitalize China's revolutionary fervor while simultaneously accelerating the country's evolution into a true communist utopia. China's young people became the advance guard for this new revolution, forming themselves into paramilitary Red Guard units. These adolescent shock troops humiliated, beat, and murdered teachers, intellectuals, local party officials, and others whom they judged to be insufficiently devoted to Mao and his radical ideals. By the time the Cultural Revolution finally ended in 1976, it had claimed the lives of some 3 to 4 million Chinese and left many millions more physically or psychologically scarred. In this new title, learn how this sweeping policy changed the course of Chinese history in the 20th century.