|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
Using exhaustive research in archives all over the world, Chang and Halliday recast Mao's ascent to power and subsequent grip on China in the context of global events. Sino-Soviet relations, the strengths and weakness of Chiang Kai-shek, the Japanese invasion of China, World War II, the Korean War, the disastrous Great Leap Forward, the vicious Cultural Revolution, the Vietnam War, Nixon's visit, and the constant, unending purges all, understandably, provide the backdrop for Mao's unscrupulous but invincible political maneuverings and betrayals. No one escaped unharmed. Rivals, families, peasants, city dwellers, soldiers, and lifelong allies such as Chou En-lai were all sacrificed to Mao's ambition and paranoia. Appropriately, the authors' consciences are appalled. Their biggest fear is that Mao will escape the global condemnation and infamy he deserves. Their astonishing book will go a long way to ensure that the pendulum of history will adjust itself accordingly. --Silvana Tropea
1. Mao became a Communist at the age of 27 for purely pragmatic reasons: a job and income from the Russians.
2. Far from organizing the Long March in 1934, Mao was nearly left behind by his colleagues who could not stand him and had tried to oust him several times. The aim of the March was to link up with Russia to get arms. The Reds survived the March because Chiang Kai-shek let them, in a secret horse-trade for his son and heir, whom Stalin was holding hostage in Russia.
3. Mao grew opium on a large scale.
4. After he conquered China, Mao's over-riding goal was to become a superpower and dominate the world: "Control the Earth," as he put it.
5. Mao caused the greatest famine in history by exporting food to Russia to buy nuclear and arms industries: 38 million people were starved and slave-driven to death in 1958-61. Mao knew exactly what was happening, saying: "half of China may well have to die."
Two of us in my family have read this book. Having followed China's and Russia's news since USSR days in 1970s, I find this book to be well-researched and revelatory. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Jean P. Purcell
In Mao: The Unknown Story, the authors claim that Mao was responsible for the deaths of over 70 million people, making the level of genocide that he perpetrated greater than that... Read morePublished 27 days ago by Bruce Rhodes
Wow, what a great book. I could not put it down. The proof of his economic policy is that China explodes in richness only after he dies.Published 1 month ago by David Wallace
I applaud Chang's audacity in bringing to light so many details that previously have been hidden from the eyes of previous biographers. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Benjamin Seeberger
This is the best biography of Mao I have read. A must read.Published 1 month ago by Samuel Kerr Thompson
Some reviewers have complained about the personal bias and bitter nature of some of the author's commentary. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Robert Salmon