Traces the life of the revolutionary who led the struggle to make China a Communist nation in 1949 and unleashed the horror of the Cultural Revolution in the mid-1960's.
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Grade 7 Up-- Instead of offering new insights, Marrin interweaves the known events of Mao's life with a lively account of Chinese history from the 1911 overthrow of the Manchus to the end of the Cultural Revolution. The first three-quarters of the book give an evenhanded account of the rise of the Chinese Communist Party. Unfortunately, the last quarter of the book degenerates into a choppy compilation of anecdotes derived from published sources. Mao is depicted as a fanatic ideologue, and the Cultural Revolution is described superficially, with no understanding that might shed light on the recent prodemocracy movement. The photographs, many of which have been published before, give a relentlessly grim picture of 20th-century China, showing nothing of the Chinese people's achievements, only their suffering and victimization. Marrin has a flare for drama, but his repetition of bloody and violent detail risks perpetuating the stereotype of Orientals as more callous and cruel than the rest of humanity. Although he provides a good bibliography, the text is full of unidentified quotes and undocumented incidents. Jean Fritz' personal interviews with survivors give a stronger ring of authenticity to her account of China's Long March (Putnam, 1988). Jerome's Mao (Prentice-Hall, 1969; o.p.), a compilation of Mao's early writings, allows readers to make their own judgments. Don Lawson's The Long March (Crowell, 1983) and Jules Archer's Mao Tse-tung (Hawthorne, 1972; o.p.) are outdated. Until a biographer with more insight tackles the subject, Marrin's book could be useful for its vivid history of 20th-century China. --Margaret A. Chang, Buxton School, Williamstown, MA
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Puffin Books, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110140364781
Book Description Puffin Books, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0140364781