From Publishers Weekly
Salisbury's crowning achievement, this incredibly vivid, gripping dual biography of China's two modern emperors--Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping--is also a revelatory history of modern China's transformation. As Mao's young lieutenant, Red Army commander Deng (b. 1904) led the Long March that cost Chiang Kaishek one million men. Although Deng tirelessly fought for Mao's political viewpoints, Mao (1892-1976) during his dementia of the 1970s ousted his acolyte, subjecting Deng to torture, imprisonment and exile. Mao believed himself infallible. His hero was China's first emperor, barbaric Qin, who slaughtered Chinese by the hundreds of thousands. Deng, "at heart a small dragon, not a supreme dragon like Mao," is nevertheless another absolutist emperor. Drawing on years of travel, interviews and research in China, Salisbury ( Tiananmen Diary ) provides countless new details on key events. Among Salisbury's findings: Mao was excluded from the initial planning of the Korean War, which took him by surprise; Deng played a major role in Mao's brutal "anti-rightist" campaign of 1958. This epic double portrait deserves to become a classic. Photos.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
After writing a dozen or more memorable books on the history of Russian communism, veteran New York Times writer Salisbury turned his attention to China about ten years ago. A consummate reporter, Salisbury knows when he has a good story, and this book is brimming with good stories about the personalities, intrigues, and conflicting aims of Mao Tse-Tung and his successor. No other Western journalist has mastered the China story as expertly as Salisbury. He uses his rich background knowledge and privileged access to a wide array of Chinese leaders to write a fascinating insider's history of events that are sometimes epic and sometimes anecdotal but always related with style and depth. This is a wonderful introduction to China's current situation--and how it got there. A helpful guide to the cast of characters is included. For general and informed lay readers. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/91.- John H. Boyle, California State Univ., Chico
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.