Mao Zedong and the Chinese Revolution (World Leaders)

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9781599351001: Mao Zedong and the Chinese Revolution (World Leaders)
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Details the life and political career of China's revolutionary leader, who rose to power in the Communist Party, overseeing both reform and terrible butchery during his long reign.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 6–9—Several recent Mao biographies overshadow this one. Naden's account lacks balance and clarity, occasionally distorting the record (e.g., blaming Qing for "sparking the Opium War," and the dynasty's decline on anti-opium-trade efforts, ignoring the roles of Empress "Tz'u-his" [Cixi] and the West). Yuan's dictatorship lasted four years, not "more than a decade." The text includes idiosyncratic, unsourced death figures for landowners and Korean War troops. Key details, like Chiang's deadly dike destruction, are missing, while pointless redundancies ("Mao's [family] did not go...with him. Instead, they stayed behind") are included. Essential differences between Nationalists and Communists go unexplained; Chiang's failure is made to seem purely military. Most maps are too small and uncaptioned, the time line thin. There are also multiple errors of diction and grammar. Choose Ann Malaspina's The Chinese Revolution and Mao Zedong in World History (Enslow, 2004) or Kathlyn Gay's Mao Zedong's China (21st Century Bks., 2007) instead.—Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI
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From Booklist:

Combining biography with politics, this title in the World Leaders series discusses Chairman Mao Zedong’s rise to power and his crucial role in national and international history, including the loss of millions of lives. The overview includes details about his revolutionary theories, with quotes from his Little Red Book (“Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun”) and talk about his differences with the Soviet Union, as well as his changing relationship with the West. From the launching of the Great Leap Forward to the Cultural Revolution, Naden’s analysis of the significant role of young people will draw YA readers for reports and for personal interest. The readable book design, with clear type and lots of historic color photos as well as screens and detailed maps, includes spacious back matter with a time line, chapter notes, and a bibliography about the leader and his lasting legacy. Grades 7-12. --Hazel Rochman

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