Based on a decade of research and on interviews with many of Mao's
close circle in China who have never talked beforeand with virtually
everyone outside China who had significant dealings with himthis is
the most authoritative life of Mao ever written. It is full of startling
revelations, exploding the myth of the Long March, and showing a
completely unknown Mao: he was not driven by idealism or ideology; his
intimate and intricate relationship with Stalin went back to the 1920s,
ultimately bringing him to power; he welcomed Japanese occupation of
much of China; and he schemed, poisoned and blackmailed to get his way.
After Mao conquered China in 1949, his secret goal was to dominate the
world. In chasing this dream he caused the deaths of 38 million people
in the greatest famine in history. In all, well over 70 million Chinese
perished under Mao's rulein peacetime.
Combining meticulous research with the story-telling style of Wild Swans, this biography offers a harrowing portrait of Mao's ruthless accumulation of power through the exercise of terror: his first victims were the peasants, then the intellectuals and, finally, the inner circle of his own advisors. The reader enters the shadowy chambers of Mao's court and eavesdrops on the drama in its hidden recesses. Mao's character and the enormity of his behavior toward his wives, mistresses and children are unveiled for the first time.
This is an entirely fresh look at Mao in both content and approach. It will astonish historians and the general reader alike.
On the Cusp from Ancient to Modern
(18931911 - age 117)
Mao tse-tung, who for decades held absolute power over the lives of
one-quarter of the world's population, was responsible for well over
70 million deaths in peacetime, more than any other twentieth-century
leader. He was born into a peasant family in a valley called Shaoshan,
in the province of Hunan, in the heartland of China. The date was 26
December 1893. His ancestors had lived in the valley for five hundred
This was a world of ancient beauty, a temperate, humid region whose misty, undulating hills had been populated ever since the Neolithic age. Buddhist temples dating from the Tang dynasty (ad 618906), when Buddhism first came here, were still in use. Forests where nearly 300 species of trees grew, including maples, camphor, metasequoia and ...
After the success of Wild Swans, many would have rested on their laurels, perhaps churning out a follow up memoir or two. Not Chang; instead, she and her husband, historian Jon Halliday, took advantage of the financial independence provided by the success of Wild Swans to focus the next ten years of their lives on a book about Chairman Mao - a book that they believe reveals the true character of the man who ruled China for 27 years.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (393 words).
was born in Yibin, Sichuan
Province, China, in 1952. She
was a Red Guard briefly at the
age of fourteen and then worked
as a peasant, a "barefoot
doctor," (A lay health care
worker who received 3-6 months
training in basic medical
a steelworker, and an
electrician before becoming an
English-language student and,
later, an assistant lecturer at
She left China for Britain in 1978 and was subsequently awarded a scholarship by York ...
If you liked Mao, try these:
At once a powerful allegory of a rising China, racked by contradictions, and a seminal examination of the Tiananmen Square protests, Beijing Coma is Ma Jians masterpiece. Spiked with dark wit, poetic beauty, and deep rage, this extraordinary novel confirms his place as one of the worlds most significant living writers.
By the author of the acclaimed bestseller Benjamin Franklin, this is the first full biography of Albert Einstein since all of his papers have become available.
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