Mao Zedong by Jonathan D. Spence
A Penguin Life (Penguin Lives)

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“Spence draws upon his extensive knowledge of Chinese politics and culture to create an illuminating picture of Mao. . . . Superb.” (Chicago Tribune)

From humble origins in the provinces, Mao Zedong rose to absolute power, unifying with an iron fist a vast country torn apart by years of weak leadership, colonialism, and war. This sharply drawn and insightful account brings to life this modern-day emperor and the tumultuous era that he did so much to shape.

Jonathan Spence captures Mao in all his paradoxical grandeur and sheds light on the radical transformation he unleashed that still reverberates in China today.


About Jonathan D. Spence

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Jonathan D. Spence is Sterling Professor of History at Yale University, where he has taught for thirty years. He has been awarded MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. The Search for Modern China won the Lionel Gelber Award and the Kiriyama Book Prize.
Published August 29, 2006 by Penguin Books. 220 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Aided by many newly available sources, especially correspondence Mao wrote throughout his lifetime, Spence creates a Mao both wise and foolish, cruel and romantic, pragmatic and naive.

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Publishers Weekly

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Spence gives readers a Mao who is smart but not wise, unexceptional in almost all qualities except his ""inflexible will"" and ""ruthless self-confidence."" He points out that, even at a young age, Mao's perception of governing foreshadowed much of how he eventually did rule: in an essay written ...

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