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    Inhaltsangabe

    “Ever since the spectacular success of Chang’s Wild Swans we have waited impatiently for her to complete with her husband this monumental study of China’s most notorious modern leader. The expectation has been that she would rewrite modern Chinese history. The wait has been worthwhile and the expectation justified. This is a bombshell of a book.” (Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong, in The Times, London) 

    Based on a decade of research and on interviews with many of Mao’s close circle in China who have never talked before - and with virtually everyone outside China who had significant dealings with him - this is the most authoritative life of Mao ever written. It is full of startling revelations, exploding the myth of the Long March, and showing a completely unknown Mao: he was not driven by idealism or ideology; his intimate and intricate relationship with Stalin went back to the 1920s, ultimately bringing him to power; he welcomed Japanese occupation of much of China; and he schemed, poisoned and blackmailed to get his way. 

    After Mao conquered China in 1949, his secret goal was to dominate the world. In chasing this dream he caused the deaths of 38 million people in the greatest famine in history. In all, well over 70 million Chinese perished under Mao’s rule - in peacetime. 

    Combining meticulous research with the story-telling style of Wild Swans, this biography offers a harrowing portrait of Mao’s ruthless accumulation of power through the exercise of terror: his first victims were the peasants, then the intellectuals and, finally, the inner circle of his own advisors. The listeners enters the shadowy chambers of Mao’s court and eavesdrops on the drama in its hidden recesses. Mao’s character and the enormity of his behavior toward his wives, mistresses and children are unveiled for the first time. 

    This is an entirely fresh look at Mao in both content and approach. It will astonish historians and the general listener alike. 

    ©2005 Jung Chang and Jon Halliday (P)2006 Books on Tape

    Kritikerstimmen

    "Sweeping." (Publishers Weekly)

    "Chang and Halliday cast new and revealing light on nearly every episode in Mao's tumultuous life…a stupendous work and one hopes that it will be brought before the Chinese people, who still claim to venerate the man and who have yet to come to terms with their own history...." (Michael Yahuda, The Guardian

    "Boasts a monumental marshaling of detail and historiographically overturning revelations." (Booklist

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    • Gesamt
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    • DK
    • 23.11.2018

    i should have researched the book before buying

    The authors are simply not trying to be objective. The whole book seems more like a polemic answer to the other end of the spectrum. Using the term "Chinese kgb" instead of smth like "Chinese Secret police" already does it for me. The authors argue that the name of the organisation has changed to often that this is simpler. When talking about the Soviet side though, the accurate term of the time (e.g. nkwd) is used. Seems to me they purposefully used a symbol laden name (kgb) to paint it negatively. As if the actions of the actual thing weren' t bad enough to do that. Things like that immediately made me think that there is an agenda to the book. It is also very simplistic in its reasons for Maos behavior. After reading academic reviews, it furthermore turns out that they actually made false claims, took citations out of context and grossly distorted evidence. I cannot recommend this book.

    5 Leute fanden das hilfreich

    • Gesamt
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • Geschichte
      5 out of 5 stars

    shocking and essential

    Everyone should know the true story of Mao. Writen in great detail based on astonishingly revealing research. Very well narrated.