Reviews 43 Wong, Chuen-Fung. “The Value of Missing Tunes: Scholarship on Uyghur Minority Music in Northwest China.” Fontes Artis Musicae 56 (3)(2009): 241–253. Miriam Gross. Farewell to the God of Plague: Chairman Mao’s Campaign to Deworm China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016. xv, 357 pp. Hardcover $70.00, ISBN 978-0-520-28883-6. In Farewell to the God of Plague: Chairman Mao’s Campaign to Deworm China, Miriam Gross retells the story of Mao Zedong’s war against snail fever, a chronic vector-borne disease caused by parasitic ﬂatworms. In 1949, the year that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) gained power, snail fever—otherwise known as schistosomiasis, bilharzia, or big belly disease—was endemic in the waterways and lakes of south and central China, putting millions of lives at risk and jeopardizing agricultural production. By 1958, at the end of the Great Leap Forward, when Mao penned his triumphalist poem “Farewell to the God of Plague”—from which Gross takes the title of her book—the disease had been brought under some control. In reality it was far from eliminated. The years after 1959 witnessed a resurgence of the disease as the campaign disintegrated and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) experienced a devastating famine. While the anti-snail campaign
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 6, 2020
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