Reviews 45 campaigns and their catastrophic environmental effects. On the other hand, the book qualiﬁes and complicates propagandistic claims made about the out-and- out success of Maoist mass prevention programs. The result is a nuanced account that reconnects Party politics with local conditions. Perhaps the most compelling feature of Gross’s narrative is the way it combines an attentiveness to gritty everyday conditions with an interest in the ramiﬁcations of Beijing power-politics. While it provides an insightful and ultimately persuasive investigation of science’s entanglement with politics in Maoist China, the book invites us to rethink the meaning of grassroots science and its relation to antiscience and normative science during critical decades of the PRC’s development. It also sheds new light on what Gross calls the process of “scientiﬁc consolidation” through which the one-party state exerted its power in rural areas without resorting to overt force or the imposition of new bureaucracy. Beyond this, Farewell to the God of Plague furnishes many insights into public health as an arena of action where the state, local government, and social worlds overlap and collide with real consequences for people’s lives. Robert Peckham Robert Peckham is MB Lee professor in the humanities and medicine
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 6, 2020
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