The Young Pioneers: Background information when reading The Little Red Guard

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The Little Red Guard

A Family Memoir

by Wenguang Huang

The Little Red Guard
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2012, 272 pages
    Apr 2013, 272 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Young Pioneers

Memoirist Wenguang Huang was once a member of China's communist youth organization, which, during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), was known as The Little Red Guard. The group was originally formed by the Communist Party of China in 1949 as The Youth and Children of China Movement, but in 1953, it was renamed The Young Pioneers - the name the organization reverted to after the Cultural Revolution ended.

Most Chinese children become members of the Young Pioneers by the end of their grade school years; in 2002 it was estimated that over 130 million youths belonged to the organization. Those between the ages of 6 and 14 are eligible to join, after which time they may choose to advance to the Communist Youth League of China.

A red scarf is one of the most symbolic elements of the Young Pioneers uniform and is worn to school every day. The color is said to be derived from the blood sacrificed by martyrs of the Revolution, and children are taught that it is to be worn in ...

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