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Mao: A Life
Mao: A Life by Philip Short 0805066381 9780805066388
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Mao: A Life by Philip Short

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 todays China without first understanding Mao, and Philip Shorts 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. Philip Shorthas been a foreign correspondent forThe Times(London),The Economist, and the BBC in Uganda, Moscow, China, and Washington, D.C. He lived in China for seven years and now resides in Paris. Mao Zedong was a defining figure of the twentieth centurya man of awesome vision and power, whose life was played out on so vast a canvas that his greatest contemporaries seem minor by comparison. In this meticulously researched account, Philip Short draws on extensive interviews and on a wealth of previously secret documentary material to present for the first time a complete portrait of this bewilderingly complex and versatile leader. Short traces Maos development from idealistic student to visionary despot, whose epic struggle to build a revolutionary realm of Red Virtue took the lives of more of his subjects than did any other leader in human history, Hilter and Stalin included. Crucial episodes in Maos life and career (which until now have been deliberately obscured) are illuminated, including a secret blood-purge that Mao personally launched in the 1930s, his byzantine struggles with Russia and decisive role in the outbreak of the Korean War, and the Chairmans machinations and imperial behavior that resulted in the cataclysmic Cultural Revolution. Military strategist, fiendishly clever politician, poet, and philosopher, Mao transformed China and changed the world. Shorts masterly biography shows how the revolution that Mao engineered dragged almost a quarter of humankind out of medieval squalor and splendor into the modern age. Draws on a wealth of hitherto untapped sources to fashion an uncanny portrait of Mao Zedong . . . Shorts dramatic biography will reward readers with its fresh perspective on Chinas civil war, Maos treacherous relations with Stalin, party infighting and the power struggle following Maos death. It not only sheds valuable light on Maos character but also serves as an illuminating and sweeping history of modern China.Publishers Weekly Short [presents this story] brilliantly . . . He has combined what is best in journalism and scholarship; his book is full of colorful insights and detail.The New York Times Book Review A masterful biography . . . The most measured, thoughtful, and complete biography of Mao now available in English.Kirkus Reviews Mao: A Lifedeserves to be the standard history. It is everything one could hope for: magisterial, beautifully written, excellently printed, and rich in material from Mr. Shorts own researches among those who knew and observed Mao.The London Sunday Telegraph Draws on a wealth of hitherto untapped sources to fashion an uncanny portrait of Mao Zedong . . . Shorts dramatic biography will reward readers with its fresh perspective on Chinas civil war, Maos treacherous relations with Stalin, party infighting, and the power struggle following

Author: Philip Short

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 824

Publisher: Holt Paperbacks

Publication Date: 2001-02-01

Our Price: $4.09

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ISBN: 0805066381


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