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Mao: A Life

Mao: A Life Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The definitive biography of the man who dominated modern Chinese history.

When the Nationalists routed a ragtag Red Army on the Xiang River during the Long March, an earthy Chinese peasant with a brilliant mind moved to a position of power. Eight years after his military success, Mao Tse-Tung had won out over more sophisticated rivals to become party chairman, his title for life. Isolated by his eminence, he lived like a feudal emperor for much of his reign after a blood purge took more lives than those killed by either Stalin or Hitler. His virtual quarantine resulted in an ideological/political divide and a devastating reign of terror that became the Cultural Revolution. Though Mao broke the shackles of two thousand years of Confucian right thinking and was the major force of contemporary China, he reverted to the simplistic thinking of his peasant origins at the , sustained by the same autocratic process that supported China's first emperors.

One cannot understand today's China without first understanding Mao. Attempts to view Mao's life through Western lenses inevitably present a cartoonish monster or hero, both far removed from the real man. Philip Short's masterly assessment-informed by secret documents recently found in China-allows the reader to understand this colossal figure whose shadow will dominate the twenty-first century.

Book News Annotation:

Short, a British foreign correspondent who worked in China in the 1970s and early 1980s, offers the first full-length biography of the father of the People's Republic of China, based on extensive interviews conducted in China over the past decade and on documentary material, much of it only recently made available. Whatever one thinks of him or his politics, says Short, he has had more impact on China than anyone for 2,000 years.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

When the Nationalists routed a ragtag Red Army on the Xiang River during the Long March, an earthy Chinese peasant with a brilliant mind moved to a position of power. Eight years after his military success, Mao Tse-tung had won out over more sophisticated rivals to become party chairman, his title for life. Isolated by his eminence, he lived like a feudal emperor for much of his reign after blood purge and agricultural failures took more lives than those killed by either Stalin or Hitler. His virtual quarantine resulted in an ideological/political divide and a devastating reign of terror that became known as the Cultural Revolution. One cannot understand today's China without first understanding Mao, and Philip Short's masterly assessment — informed by a wealth of new sources — allows the reader to understand this colossal figure whose shadow will dominate the twenty-first century.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [643]-761) and index.

About the Author

Philip Short has been a foreign correspondent for The Times (London), The Economist, and BBC in Uganda, Moscow, China, and Washington, D.C. He lived in China for seven years; he now resides in Paris.

Table of Contents

Prologue — A Confucian childhood — Lords of misrule — A ferment of 'isms' — The comintern takes charge — Events leading to the Horse Day incident and its bloody aftermath — Out of the barrel of a gun — Futian: loss of innocence — Chairman of the republic — In search of the grey dragon: the long march north — Yan'an interlude: the philosopher is king — Paper tigers — The sorcerer's apprentice — Musings on immortality — Cataclysm — Things fall apart — Epilogue.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805031157
Subtitle:
A Life
Author:
Short, Philip
Publisher:
Holt Paperbacks
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Political
Subject:
China
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Asia - China
Subject:
Heads of state
Subject:
Mao, tse-tung, 1893-1976
Edition Number:
1st American ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
GTR-7
Publication Date:
20010201
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Three 8 page bandw inserts, 4 maps
Pages:
824
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » China » Mao Tse Tung

Mao: A Life
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Product details 824 pages Metropolitan Books - English 9780805031157 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
When the Nationalists routed a ragtag Red Army on the Xiang River during the Long March, an earthy Chinese peasant with a brilliant mind moved to a position of power. Eight years after his military success, Mao Tse-tung had won out over more sophisticated rivals to become party chairman, his title for life. Isolated by his eminence, he lived like a feudal emperor for much of his reign after blood purge and agricultural failures took more lives than those killed by either Stalin or Hitler. His virtual quarantine resulted in an ideological/political divide and a devastating reign of terror that became known as the Cultural Revolution. One cannot understand today's China without first understanding Mao, and Philip Short's masterly assessment — informed by a wealth of new sources — allows the reader to understand this colossal figure whose shadow will dominate the twenty-first century.

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