- Paperback: 392 pages
- Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (August 23, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0521711541
- ISBN-13: 978-0521711548
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Critical Introduction to Mao 1st Edition
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"It is important to understand Mao, and this book makes a contribution to such understanding."-Hong Kong Economic Journal
"Timothy Cheek's anthology 'A Critical Introduction to Mao' attest[s] to the difficulty of definitively fixing Mao's image, a project that amounts to writing a history of China's present.... The most stimulating chapters in the academic collection... discuss Mao's "Sinification" of a European tradition of revolution."-The New Yorker
"The chapters in Cheek's collection contribute to an understanding of Mao Zedong that is as messy and complex as it is compelling. The text, moreover, encourages readers to engage the problem of knowing the historical Mao, while reminding the reader of the equal importance of Mao's ahistorical legacy." - Brian J. DeMare, Tulane University, Twentieth Century China and The China Beat
Mao Zedong's political career spanned more than half a century. The ideas he championed transformed one of the largest nations on earth and inspired revolutionary movements across the world. Even today Mao lives on in China, where he is regarded by many as a near-mythical figure, and in the West, where a burgeoning literature continues to debate his memory. In this book, leading scholars from different generations and around the world offer a critical evaluation of the life and legacy of China's most famous - some would say infamous - son.
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Mao was a man of great charisma and a natural leader and his greatest challenge was to inspire able leaders like himself - Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping, and keep the reactionary faction which included Lin Biao and Mao's own wife Jiang Qing at bay. He was an icon whose economic policies was questionable but in some other areas, beyond doubt that they were marvelous. He deplored arranged marriages (though his first marriage was arranged by his parents) and promoted free marriage. Mao clearly freed the peasantry from more than 2,000 of oppression, but his effort to create a socialist, egalitarian society invokes debate. The reader may find that an understanding of Chinese history especially after 1911 will be helpful in better appreciating this small (352-page) but immensely informative and thought-provoking book; and the better to judge Mao and his achievements.