Mao: The Real Story
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This major new biography of Mao uses extensive Russian documents previously unavailable to biographers to reveal surprising details about Mao’s rise to power and leadership in China.
This major new biography of Mao uses extensive Russian documents previously unavailable to biographers to reveal surprising details about Mao’s rise to power and his leadership in China.
Mao Zedong was one of the most important figures of the twentieth century, the most important in the history of modern China. A complex figure, he was champion of the poor and brutal tyrant, poet and despot.
Pantsov and Levine show Mao’s relentless drive to succeed, vividly describing his growing role in the nascent Communist Party of China. They disclose startling facts about his personal life, particularly regarding his health and his lifelong serial affairs with young women. They portray him as the loyal Stalinist that he was, who never broke with the Soviet Union until after Stalin’s death.
Mao brought his country from poverty and economic backwardness into the modern age and onto the world stage. But he was also responsible for an unprecedented loss of life. The disastrous Great Leap Forward with its accompanying famine and the bloody Cultural Revolution were Mao’s creations. Internationally Mao began to distance China from the USSR under Khrushchev and shrewdly renewed relations with the U.S. as a counter to the Soviets. He lived and behaved as China’s last emperor.
he’ll become even stronger!” Humor alone saved him in this difficult situation. And his old bamboo flute. But the sad melodies that Mao played fed his wife’s melancholy. Once again Moscow came to Mao’s rescue. More precisely, rescue came in the form of Moscow’s new representatives in China, before whom the likes of Bo Gu and Luo Fu had to snap to attention. In the autumn of 1932 the new ECCI representative arrived in Shanghai along with his wife. He was a German named Arthur Ernst Ewert. Of
Rise of the Chinese Communist Party, vol. 2, 13; Pang, Mao Zedong nianpu, 1893–1949 (Chronological Biography of Mao Zedong, 1893–1949), vol. 1, 208; Chen Geng, “Ot Nanchana do Svatou” (From Nanchang to Swatow), in Vsiudu krasnye znamena: Vospominaniia i ocherki o vtoroi grazhdanskoi revoliutsionnoi voine (Red Banners Everywhere: Reminiscences and Sketches of the Second Revolutionary Civil War) (Moscow: Voenizdat, 1957), 13–20. 19. Chang, The Rise of the Chinese Communist Party, vol. 1, 489. 20.
approaches that might help to solve China’s economic, political, and social crises. The mouthpiece of the movement was Xin qingnian (New youth), the same journal that published Mao Zedong’s essay on physical culture in April 1917. Its editor in chief was Chen Duxiu, the dean of the College of Letters at Beida. New Youth had initiated the New Culture Movement, which targeted traditional Confucian ideas, and became one of the most influential publications disseminating such Western ideas as
Zhenghong, by a lone Japanese. The murder of the unfortunate Gu had aroused the whole city. Workers in many factories went on strike and students boycotted classes. On May 24, the day of Gu’s funeral, tens of thousands of people held an anti-Japanese demonstration. Everything might have blown over, but in Qingdao on May 28, Chinese militarists, responding to the request of Japanese entrepreneurs, opened fire on workers who had come out in the streets in solidarity with the textile workers of
emphasizing their interest in developing good relations with the CCP, the USSR, and the Communist International. Even though practically the entire officer corps of the NRA and a majority of the GMD leadership belonged to the landlord class, no one even interfered with Mao’s radical propaganda inside the Guomindang that the landlord class should be destroyed.19 It is true that on August 20, the Guomindang “leftist” leader Liao Zhongkai was assassinated by a terrorist, but this only weakened the