36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Overrated Mao Zedong,
By A Customer
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This review is from: Mao Zedong: A Penguin Life (Penguin Lives) (Hardcover)
I felt this book--more a monograph than a biography--was a bit too cursory to really get at the heart of Mao. The war years are covered in just a few pages, and the period of Mao's reign is covered in much the same fashion. I found myself wanting to know a lot more. Considering the relative importance of Mao's reign compared with his early life, it's a little strange so much time is spent in these early years. After reading the book, I still don't get a clear picture of how Mao was able to parlay himself into the leading figure in communist party and then how he was able to keep so much power to himself later on. In short, it was a fair introduction, but it lacked depth and balance.