Mao by Jung Chang
The Unknown Story

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Synopsis

The most authoritative life of the Chinese leader every written, Mao: The Unknown Story is 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. 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.
 

 

About Jung Chang

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JUNG CHANG was born in Sichuan Province, China, in 1952. She was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen and then worked as a peasant, a "barefoot doctor," a steelworker, and an electrician before becoming an English-language student and, later, an assistant lecturer at Sichuan University. She left China for Britain in 1978 and was subsequently awarded a scholarship by York University, where she obtained a Ph.D. in linguistics in 1982, the first person from the People's Republic of China to receive a doctorate from a British university.













Author Residence: London













Author Hometown: China
 
Published October 5, 2011 by Anchor. 801 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mao

Kirkus Reviews

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Chang and Halliday document at length just how willing Mao was to kill innocents for presumed crimes or mere expediency, how quick he was to concoct schemes against even such essential comrades as Lin Baio and Chou En-Lai—and how willing the leaders of the world, among them Richard Nixon, were to...

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The New York Times

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In the same way, I think, Mao's ruthlessness was a catastrophe at the time, brilliantly captured in this extraordinary book - and yet there's more to the story: Mao also helped lay the groundwork for the rebirth and rise of China after five centuries of slumber.

Oct 23 2005 | Read Full Review of Mao: The Unknown Story

The Guardian

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Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday Jonathan Cape £25, pp832 During the first week of June 1966, pupils from a middle school in Beijing felt suddenly impelled to declare themselves part of Mao Tse-tung's Cultural Revolution.

Jun 05 2005 | Read Full Review of Mao: The Unknown Story

The Guardian

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Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday 832pp, Cape, £25 The author of Wild Swans and her historian husband, Jon Halliday, have torn away the many masks and falsehoods with which Mao and the Communist party of China to this day have hidden the true picture of Mao the man and Mao th...

Jun 04 2005 | Read Full Review of Mao: The Unknown Story

Christian Science Monitor

To dive into this hefty new biography of China's "great Helmsman" is to feel alternately shocked, angry, and, finally, just plain sick at heart.

Aug 02 2009 | Read Full Review of Mao: The Unknown Story

Christian Science Monitor

But in the end, the personal picture that they paint of Mao from youth on up – “harsh, bitter, and headstrong” and generally oblivious to the suffering of others – coincides in many ways with that of “Mao: The Unknown Story.” And when it comes to the most grievous of what Pantsov and Levine call ...

Oct 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Mao: The Unknown Story

Deseret News

The erudite authors tell of Mao's rush to power by climbing over Chiang Kai Shek, his causing the 1961 death of 38 million people in the greatest famine in history, his ready access to Russia's Joseph Stalin (his model in most respects), the intimate connection between Chinese and Russian communi...

Nov 27 2005 | Read Full Review of Mao: The Unknown Story

London Review of Books

Chang and Halliday do say that Mao was in Shanghai in 1920 but they go on to say that ‘the Party was founded … after Mao had left.’ In short, the substance of the issue remains the same: Mao was present at the founding congress of the CCP just as historians have always said, but unsurprisingly, h...

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Bookmarks Magazine

Kristof USA Today 4 of 5 Stars "After finishing it, readers will cast a skeptical eye on the media’s sympathetic presentation of Mao in his later years, U.S. foreign policy and the current Chinese regime’s reverence for Mao.

Aug 27 2007 | Read Full Review of Mao: The Unknown Story

National Review Online

(11/3/05) NY Review of Books he takes on Jung Chang and Jon Halliday’s new tome, Mao: The Unknown Story, and raises big, interesting questions — about the book, about Mao, and about the writing of history.

Oct 20 2005 | Read Full Review of Mao: The Unknown Story

The New York Review of Books

In their comprehensive, judicious, and finely detailed new biography of Mao, Alexander Pantsov and Steven Levine have a phrase for the commercialization of the Mao cult in Tiananmen Square, where hawkers and souvenir shops “do a brisk trade in kitsch: Mao badges and posters, busts, and Quotations...

Oct 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Mao: The Unknown Story

Project MUSE

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Project MUSE

In the interest of full disclosure, this reviewer notes that his own work also looks at Mao within the prism of traditional Chinese autocracy and questions the utility of looking at him solely or even mostly as a sincere socialist.1 Mao: The Unknown Story, which as perhaps the last great work of ...

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Project MUSE

The publication of Jung Chang and Jon Halliday’s Mao: The Unknown Story, in 2005, stirred up great interest, with popular media in the West heaping dazzling praises and professional historians frowning.

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