The thing that has been turning me off of this book is that it falls victim a little too much to the author's personal feelings for Mao. I understand that a lot of what he did was atrocious. I just wish that I didn't feel like I was being force fed the author's point of view quite so blata...more
It is well written - I noticed a few repetitions, but nothing annoying, and it kept my interest throughout.
I'm sure the passion that comes through the book's relentless examination of Mao's beha...more
Update: If you really are a glutton for punishment and want to read what I really thi...more
Sometimes, I think Jung C...more
The book really picks up in the second half when things get considerably more interesting with the Russians and when, little by...more
Is it well written? It’s good, but not outstanding, and it feels biased. There is a wealth of interesting information on how his regime functioned, but Mao as a person doesn’t come fully through. There are some repetitions, some things are unclear, some information seems willfully omitte...more
The book reaches a hilarious level of propaganda language. No opportunity for universal hyperbole is missed; no closing statement of doom is left unsaid. Some of them made me laugh out loud, probably not the authors intention but...more
- sitting on a pile of newspapers, some of which may have included a picture of Mao, was a *capital* offence. You'd never sit anywhere again if you survived the initial 'blast'.
- during the war, he decided that it wa...more
Chang, who was born in China in 1952 and left for Britain in 1978, recounted her family's suffering under Mao in her award-winning Wild Swans (1991). With husband-historian Halliday, she has written a shocking, authoritative account of Mao's life. The authors present evidence that refutes almost every aspect of the Chinese Communist Party's account, from the claim that the Party fought the Japanese to Mao's role in the Long March. Having gleaned indicting information from newly available Chinese...more
Mao Tse-Tung, recognized long ago by the U.S. Congress as responsible for the death of 60-million Chinese, h...more
Approaching the end of this book, I thought Mao would mellow (with 75 pages left, supposedly this happens around the time he meets Nixon), and I became happy at the idea, but around page 500 I learned othe...more
Shocking, traumatizing, depressing, text-bookish but brilliant. This is the sequal to Jung Chang's first international best seller, "Wild Swans - Three Daughters of China".
It was not an easy read and certainly a challenge to empathize with Jung Chang's anger and open contempt for Mao. Her intense personal feelings established this book as a personal journey of discovery which took her ten years of intense research. Although most of the facts can be verified, there are others, supplied by peo...more
The greatest puzzle historically remains how come the Chinese were not able to capitalize more on the amazing history of inventions and high culture which are woven throughout their long history, and that answer is likely to be closely related to the question why a sadistic, Macchiavellian...more
this book presents an overblown and out of proportion account of a very evil man. Mao screwed up through most of his rule, leaving only one lasting positive achievement (united, warlord free China) after causing the death of so many innocents due to his increasing paranoia and screwups. At times, you learn something interesting and there are many rare gems most western readers wouldn't know about China's historical figures, most who weren't saints but practical men who had agendas to satisfy and...more
I usually avoid books of this length, but i plowed thru this even tho every page, every paragraph outlines another horrific atrocity. Immensely engaging, and readable. I knew very little of Republic of China history, and the story of Mao basically introduces you to it all.
The controversy is that the book is so clearly...more
Halliday authored a biography of filmmaker Douglas Sirk and has written and edited seven other books. He and his wife, Jung Chang, live in Notting Hill, West London. Together they researched and wrote the biography of Mao Zedong, Mao: the Unknown Story which rece...more