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Synopses & Reviews
Mr. Feigon argues that the movements for which Mao is almost universally condemned today--the Great Leap Forward and especially the Cultural Revolution--were in many ways beneficial for the Chinese people. While not glossing over Mao's mistakes, he contends that the Chinese leader should be largely praised for many of his later efforts. In reevaluating Mao's contributions, this interpretive study reverses the curve of criticism. Feigon performs a service by reclaiming the historical context of Mao's crazed era. He has written a concise work that forces the reader to recall the circumstances that abetted Mao's reign. --Far Eastern Economic Review
Book News Annotation:
Suggesting that some of Mao's most controversial policies were actually good for the Chinese people, Feigon (history, Colby College) offers a political biography of the leader of the Chinese Communist Revolution. He argues that Mao was much more willing to listen to non-communist individuals and even to place them in positions of moderate power than has previously been admitted. He contends that Mao's Cultural Revolution was an effort to reduce the power of Stalinist bureaucrats within his own party and suggest that it achieved its purpose of empowering peasants, women, and other marginalized people. In the end, argues Feigon, Mao's leadership set the stage for the future growth of the Chinese people.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 189-217) and index.
This book reverses the recent curve of criticism of Mao Tse-tung, seeing Mao's late-in-life contributions to the Chinese revolution more favorably while taking a more critical view of his earlier efforts.
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