Edward Friedman - Hawkins Chair Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
In authoritarian regimes, people learn to play it safe. Truth is a scarce commodity. Interviewees are people who have learned to be complicitous to survive. Memory is shaped and mis-shaped by all of these forces and more. Therefore learning the truth about the impact of politics and policy in a place like Mao’s China or even post-Mao China requires innovative approaches. This talk is about how such work was done over 3 dozen or so visits to rural China over a quarter of a century.