‘The Devil is in the Details’: Mao Zedong before and after the Luochuan Conference, August 1937

Talks are delivered in Mandarin, followed by bilingual Q&As

The Luochuan Conference of August 1937 was a crucial moment in Mao Zedong’s struggle for power. Mao tried to force the party to adopt his guerrilla war strategy; he failed. Mao nonetheless exploited his position as the Politburo member in charge of military affairs and put his strategy into action in fall 1937. Mao’s actions worried Josef Stalin, who was depending on Chiang Kai-shek to keep Japan from invading Siberia. Mao therefore moderated his behaviour but clung to his strategy. This talk discusses how Mao managed to win Stalin and the CCP over to his strategy, and thus consolidated his hold on the CCP.