“Ever since the spectacular success of Chang’s Wild Swans we have waited impatiently for her to complete with her husband this monumental study of China’s most notorious modern leader. The expectation has been that she would rewrite modern Chinese history. The wait has been worthwhile and the expectation justified. This is a bombshell of a book.”
–Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong, in The Times (London)
Based on a decade of research and on interviews with many of Mao’s close circle in China who have never talked before–and with virtually everyone outside China who had significant dealings with him–this 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 rule–in 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.
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In the epilogue to her biography of Mao Tse-tung, Jung Chang and her husband and cowriter Jon Halliday lament that, "Today, Mao's portrait and his corpse still dominate Tiananmen Square in the heart of the Chinese capital." For Chang, author of Wild Swans, this fact is an affront, not just to history, but to decency. Mao: The Unknown Story does not contain a formal dedication, but it is clear that Chang is writing to honor the millions of Chinese who fell victim to Mao's drive for absolute power in his 50-plus-year struggle to dominate China and the 20th-century political landscape. From the outset, Chang and Halliday are determined to shatter the "myth" of Mao, and they succeed with the force, not just of moral outrage, but of facts. The result is a book, more indictment than portrait, that paints Mao as a brutal totalitarian, a thug, who unleashed Stalin-like purges of millions with relish and without compunction, all for his personal gain. Through the authors' unrelenting lens even his would-be heroism as the leader of the Long March and father of modern China is exposed as reckless opportunism, subjecting his charges to months of unnecessary hardship in order to maintain the upper hand over his rival, Chang Kuo-tao, an experienced military commander.
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."
Jung Chang 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 steelworker, and an electrician before becoming an English-language student and, later, an assistant lecturer at Sichuan University. She left China for Britain in 1978 and was subsequently awarded a scholarship by York University, where she obtained a Ph.D. in linguistics in 1982, the first person from the People’s Republic of China to receive a doctorate from a British university. Her award-winning book, Wild Swans, was published in 1991.
Jon Halliday is a former Senior Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College, University of London. He has written or edited eight previous books.
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Book Description Oct 18, 2005. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # MN-KAHJ-SS62
Book Description Knopf, 2005. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: List of Maps Abbreviations and a Note About Spelling in the Text PART ONELukewarm Believer 1. On the Cusp from Ancient to Modern(18931911; age 117) 2. Becoming a Communist(191120; age 1726) 3. Lukewarm Believer(192025; age 2631) 4. Rise and Demise in the Nationalist Party (192527; age 3133) PART TWOLong March to Supremacy in the Party 5. Hijacking a Red Force and Taking Over Bandit Land(192728; age 3334) 6. Subjugating the Red Army Supremo(192830; age 3436) 7. Takeover Leads to Death of Second Wife(192730; age 3336) 8. Bloody Purge Paves the Way for "Chairman Mao"(192931; age 3537) 9. Mao and the First Red State(193134; age 3740) 10. Troublemaker to Figurehead(193134; age 3740) 11. How Mao Got onto the Long March(193334; age 3940) 12. Long March I: Chiang Lets the Reds Go(1934; age 40) 13. Long March II: The Power Behind the Throne(193435; age 4041) 14. Long March III: Monopolising the Moscow Connection(1935; age 41) PART THREEBuilding His Power Base 15. The Timely Death of Mao's Host(193536; age 4142) 16. Chiang Kai-shek Kidnapped(193536; age 4142) 17. A National Player(1936; age 4243) 18. New Image, New Life and New Wife(193738; age 4344) 19. Red Mole Triggers ChinaJapan War(193738; age 4344) 20. Fight Rivals and ChiangNot Japan(193740; age 4346) 21. Most Desired Scenario: Stalin Carves Up China with Japan(193940; age 4546) 22. Death Trap for His Own Men(194041; age 4647) 23. Building a Power Base Through Terror(194145; age 4751) 24. Uncowed Opponent Poisoned(194145; age 4751) 25. Supreme Party Leader at Last(194245; age 4851) PART FOURTo Conquer China 26. "Revolutionary Opium War"(193745; age 4351) 27. The Russians Are Coming!(194546; age 5152) 28. Saved by Washington(194447; age 5053) 29. Moles, Betrayals and Poor Leadership Doom Chiang(194549; age 5155) 30. China Conquered(194649; age 5255) 31. Totalitarian State, Extravagant Lifestyle(194953; age 5559) PART FIVEChasing a Superpower Dream 32. Rivalry with Stalin(194749; age 5355) 33. Two Tyrants Wrestle(194950; age 5556) 34. Why Mao and Stalin Started the Korean War(194950; age 5556) 35. Mao Milks the Korean War(195053; age 5659) 36. Launching the Secret Superpower Programme(195354; age 5960) 37. War on Peasants(195356; age 5962) 38. Undermining Khrushchev(195659; age 6265) 39. Killing the "Hundred Flowers"(195758; age 6364) 40. The Great Leap: "Half of Ch. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0679422714
Book Description Knopf, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover and dust jacket. Good binding and cover. Clean, unmarked pages. Ships daily. Bookseller Inventory # 1604220048
Book Description Knopf. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0679422714 This is a hardcover book with dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 206.HJA1
Book Description Knopf, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0679422714
Book Description Alfred a Knopf Inc, Westminister, Maryland, U.S.A., 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. A Borzoi Book/ Published by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., Publishers, New York, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: Like New. Dust Jacket Condition: Like New. Peter Mendelsund (Jacket Design) (illustrator). 1st American Edition."This atom bomb of a book"-wrote Donald Morrison, Time Asia. Bookseller Inventory # 012447
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Book Description Knopf, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0679422714
Book Description Knopf, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110679422714