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The Private Life of Chairman Mao

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The Private Life of Chairman Mao Cover

ISBN13: 9780679764434
ISBN10: 0679764437
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From 1954 until Mao Zedong's death twenty-two years later, Dr. Li Zhisui was the Chinese ruler's personal physician, which put him in daily — and increasingly intimate — contact with Mao and his inner circle. In The Private Life of Chairman Mao, Dr. Li vividly reconstructs his extraordinary experience at the center of Mao's decadent imperial court.

Dr. Li clarifies numerous long-standing puzzles, such as the true nature of Mao's feelings toward the United States and the Soviet Union. He describes Mao's deliberate rudeness toward Khrushchev and reveals the actual catalyst of Nixon's historic visit. Here also are surprising details of Mao's personal depravity (we see him dependent on barbituates and refusing to wash, dress, or brush his teeth) and the sexual politics of his court. To millions of Chinese, Mao was more god than man, but for Dr. Li, he was all too human. Dr. Li's intimate account of this lecherous, paranoid tyrant, callously indifferent to the suffering of his people, will forever alter our view of Chairman Mao and of China under his rule.

Review:

"The most revealing book ever published on Mao, perhaps on any dictator in history." Professor Andrew J. Nathan, Columbia University

Review:

"An extraordinarily intimate portrait of Mao. [Dr. Li] portrays [Mao's imperial court] as a place of boundless decadence, licentiousness, selfishness, relentless toadying and cutthroat political intrigue." Richard Bernstein, New York Times

Review:

"One of the most provocative books on Mao to appear since the publication of Edgar Snow's Red Star Over China in 1938." Paul G. Pickowicz, The Wall Street Journal

Review:

"[A] riveting acount of what went on within the inner sanctums...of Communist Party leadership." Orville Schell, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"From now on no one will be able to pretend to understand Chairman Mao's place in history without reference to this revealing account." Professor Lucian Pye, Masschusetts Institute of Technology

Review:

"Dr. Li does for Mao what the physician Lord Moran's memoir did for Winston Churchill — turns him into a human being. Here is Mao unveiled; eccentric, demanding, suspicious, unregretful, lascivious, and unfailingly fascinating. Our view of Mao will never be the same again." Rose Terrill, author of China in Our Time

Synopsis:

From 1954 until Mao Zedong's death 22 years later. Dr. Li Zhisui was the Chinese ruler's personal physician. For most of these years, Mao was in excellent health; thus he and the doctor had time to discuss political and personal matters. Dr. Li recorded many of these conversations in his diaries, as well as in his memory. In this book, Dr. Li vividly reconstructs his extraordinary time with Chairman Mao. of illustrations.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

dao.le, March 9, 2008 (view all comments by dao.le)
i would like to read this book very much in order to learn more facts.
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henrywood81, December 18, 2007 (view all comments by henrywood81)
An Interesting Episode in Dr. Li’s memoirs The Private Life of Chairman Mao

The book of The Private Life of Chairman Mao was Dr. Li’s memoirs. Dr. Li said that his book was not a biography of Chairman Mao, nor a history of the Chinese Communist Party. Instead his book is of his own survival experience as Chairman Mao’s personal physician for 22 years, and about China under Communist rule. There are a lot of biographies about Chairman Mao. All read like a cartoon comedy, very boring. But Dr. Li’s memoir is like a survival thriller movie. It is great, interesting, exciting and entertaining. Dr. Li’s successful survival experience is a legendary and miraculous tale. From beginning to the end, it kept me on the edge of my chair, breathless until I finished the last page.

The book is written in a humorous way. Sometimes, it was funny, but combined with spine tingling thrills. Many times, while Dr. Li was working for Chairman Mao, Dr. Li confronted great peril. But each time, an invisible force made it a funny, interesting and unexpected end. Dr. Li had never got hurt from the vicious politics. Chairman Mao did not mind that Dr. Li was a Christian, and a member of the intelligence agency of the previous regime. This was the myth of Dr. Li’s miracle story.

There is a very interesting scenario in the book. One day, Chairman Mao wanted to watch some Chinese local operas, and asked Dr. Li to recommend a local opera to him. Dr. Li recalled when he was a little boy; he watched a local opera named Lee Hui Niang. Dr. Li had only a little vague impression about the play. He remembered there were a lot of ghosts in the play and very entertaining. He thought Chairman Mao would like it, and recommended it to him. Chairman Mao pleasingly accepted Dr. Li’s recommendation, and notified his chief commanding officer of guards to arrange the performance. Several days later, the performance was ready. Chairman Mao and his entourage went to watch the play. They were warmly welcome with the thunderous applause from the audience when they walked in the theatre. Then, they sat down. Dr. Li sat next to Chairman Mao with excitement. After a short intermission, the theatre was silenced and the performance was started. At the beginning, Chairman Mao was pleased and excited by the play. His face was glowing with smiling. But, when the performance was going to the half of the play, suddenly, Chairman Mao’s face changed to be very ghastly. His eyebrow was tightened heavily. His eyes glared furious flame at the stage. The pleased and excited smile on his face at the beginning was completely gone. A great shock hit Dr. Li’s heart badly. Dr. Li thought the glare on Chairman Mao’s face was an evil omen for him. Because he recommended the play to Chairman Mao, he would get big trouble from his recommendation. Later, Chairman Mao looked worse, and suddenly stood up walking out of the theatre. Dr. Li thought: too bad, big trouble was going to happen to him. He followed Chairman Mao out of the theatre, sat in the car, and went back to Chairman Mao’s courtyard. Chairman Mao did not talk to Dr. Li a word on the way home. Dr. Li thought that his recommendation was going to be a big disaster for him.

The second day, Chairman Mao’s wife called Dr. Li and the chief commanding officer of guards to see her. She asked them who recommended that play to Chairman Mao. Both of Dr. Li and the chief commanding officer of guards said they didn’t know whose recommendation it was. Then Chairman Mao’s wife said that she guessed Dr. Li did the recommendation. Both Dr. Li and the chief commanding officer of guards felt spine tingling. But they did not lose their mind and kept calm. Dr. Li denied that he did the recommendation. The chief commanding officer of guards said that he did not hear the recommendation from Dr. Li. He said when Chairman Mao read the party newspaper, People’s Daily found an article to recommend that play. So Chairman Mao himself said he wanted to watch the play, and ordered him to arrange the performance. Chairman Mao’s wife required them to find the newspaper to show her their proofs. Later, Dr. Li and the chief commanding officer of guards found the newspaper and the article. They went to see Chairman Mao first. They told Chairman Mao what his wife asked them. Then Both of Dr. Li and the chief commanding officer of guards said after Chairman Mao read this article on People’s Daily, Chairman Mao decided to watch this play. Chairman Mao agreed with Dr. Li and the chief commanding officer of guards; then, he told his wife nobody recommended the play. He made decision by himself after he read this article on People’s Daily. After that, Chairman Mao’s wife stopped pursuing the person who recommended the play to Chairman Mao. Dr. Li avoided a disastrous result.

But the problem was not over yet. After Chairman Mao launched the Cultural Revolution, Chairman Mao’s wife got the person who wrote the article on People’s Daily. She persecuted him, then, arrested him and later he was dead in jail. After Dr. Li’s memoir was published, the writer’s family just knew the cause of the writer’s disaster. Dr. Li felt very sorry for them.

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Product Details

ISBN:
9780679764434
Author:
Zhi-Sui, Li
Publisher:
Random House
Translator:
Chao, Tai Hung
Author:
Li, Zhisui
Author:
Zhisui, Li
Author:
Nathan, Andrew
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Trees
Subject:
Political
Subject:
China
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Asia - China
Subject:
Heads of state
Subject:
Mao, tse-tung, 1893-1976
Subject:
Trees & Forests
Subject:
Trees & Forests - General
Subject:
Plants - Trees
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Edition Number:
1st pbk. ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
104-121
Publication Date:
19960431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16-PP BandW ILLUSTRATIONS
Pages:
736
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x .8 in 1.35 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Political
History and Social Science » Asia » China » Mao Tse Tung
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » China
Science and Mathematics » Botany » Trees and Shrubs
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Trees

The Private Life of Chairman Mao New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$25.00 In Stock
Product details 736 pages Random House - English 9780679764434 Reviews:
"Review" by , "The most revealing book ever published on Mao, perhaps on any dictator in history."
"Review" by , "An extraordinarily intimate portrait of Mao. [Dr. Li] portrays [Mao's imperial court] as a place of boundless decadence, licentiousness, selfishness, relentless toadying and cutthroat political intrigue."
"Review" by , "One of the most provocative books on Mao to appear since the publication of Edgar Snow's Red Star Over China in 1938."
"Review" by , "[A] riveting acount of what went on within the inner sanctums...of Communist Party leadership."
"Review" by , "From now on no one will be able to pretend to understand Chairman Mao's place in history without reference to this revealing account."
"Review" by , "Dr. Li does for Mao what the physician Lord Moran's memoir did for Winston Churchill — turns him into a human being. Here is Mao unveiled; eccentric, demanding, suspicious, unregretful, lascivious, and unfailingly fascinating. Our view of Mao will never be the same again."
"Synopsis" by , From 1954 until Mao Zedong's death 22 years later. Dr. Li Zhisui was the Chinese ruler's personal physician. For most of these years, Mao was in excellent health; thus he and the doctor had time to discuss political and personal matters. Dr. Li recorded many of these conversations in his diaries, as well as in his memory. In this book, Dr. Li vividly reconstructs his extraordinary time with Chairman Mao. of illustrations.
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