Mao A Life



❦ [KINDLE] ❁ Mao A Life By Philip Short ➡ – E17streets4all.co.uk 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 succ When the Nationalists routed a ragtag Red Army on the Xiang River during the Long March an earthy Mao A eBook Ý 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 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 lives than those killed by either Stalin or Hitler His virtual uarantine resulted in an ideologicalpolitical divide and a devastating reign of terror that became known as the Cultural Revolution One cannot understand today's China without first understanding Mao and Philip Short's 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.Mao A Life

Philip Short is a British journalist and author specializing in biographies of historical dictators he studied at Cambridge Mao A eBook Ý University he worked as a journalist for the BBC for years as a foreign correspondent a job that allowed him to travel widely and experience wildly different cultures it would prove a great learning experience that still benefits him as an authorAfter his wor.

Mao A Life Epub ↠ Mao A  eBook Ý Paperback
  • Paperback
  • 824 pages
  • Mao A Life
  • Philip Short
  • English
  • 06 June 2014
  • 9780805066388

10 thoughts on “Mao A Life

  1. says:

    This was my second book in a row by this author and this one was much better than the biography of Pol Pot Even in the book on Pol Pot some of the most interesting and well written sections were those that featured the Chinese leaderI think this was a good introduction 800 page introduction to the ideology and life of Mao Zedong It outlined how the communist party was formed and its cooperation and civil war with the Guomindang The author did his research well enough to show the influence of Lenin Stalin and the Soviet Union on the party which informed much of its early politics The second half of the book was interesting but was weaker During the periods of the Great Leap Forward or the Cultural Revolution I felt like I was listening to hearsay and rumour This is almost certainly due to documents being much less readily available than in his earlier life It could feel like the biographer was writing about one person for most of the book and then suddenly someone suffering from multiple personality disorder

  2. says:

    This is an excellent book Long detailed there are passages where one has to let one's eye skip over the surface like stones on a pond but for someone who has not read much about his period I couldn't ask for a better introduction The author focusing on the narrative manages brilliantly to take the reader and seamlessly from Mao the idealistic romantic visionary poet and revolutionary to A uote near the end says Had Mao died in 1956 his achievements would have placed him among the gods; had in died in 1966 he would still have been considered a great man; but since he died in 1976 alas what can one sayTragic riveting and expertly told

  3. says:

    the title should be read as 人魔傳ren mo zhuan the biography of a humanoid devil

  4. says:

    I wouldn't be the first to say there are times when objective euals boring but to Philip Short's unyieldingly neutral biography of Mao Zedong as a 650 page case in point maybe With no sides taken there are no heroes in this book only villains and victims with the subject portrayed depending on the chapter as both If that doesn't sound unattractive don't let me fool you the words read drier on the printed page with the hazard on each that your mind will wander or better shut downTo my credit my retention did not fail me completely Before Mao settled into the role of aging solipsistic control freak he was a progressive campaigner for women's rights though he would not extend them to his wives and although he would prove uniuely unfit to run a country he was a brilliant military strategist Short will beat you over the head with this early phase of Mao's rise to power before antiseptically bullet pointing the better known atrocities resulting from the Hundred Flowers Campaign and the Great Leap Forward as respectively a failed attempt at diplomacy and an inadvertent genocide Those horrors feel further diluted by liberal sprinklings of Mao's poetry which I thought weren't half badRegarding Mao's one great nemesis the story takes an improbably anticlimactic turn That Mao was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of Chinese has been unanimously propagated but Chiang Kai shek the anti communist Generalissimo of the Chinese Nationalist Party was no less barbaric This is unless you play a game of body counts which Chiang did in the form of collecting heads though Short mentions he perspicaciously settled for just the ears once the heads became too weighty Despite this sparkling prelude most of Short's history concerning Chiang occurs before Mao is in a position of real power and less satisfactorily once the Generalissimo packs his bags and abjectly flees to Taiwan he is never in the book heard from againApproaching its conclusion then the loss of Mao's capacity for intransigence is made no apparent than in the description of his thrice self repealed attempts at choosing a successor one of which the young buck Wang Hongwen comes off as uncomfortably Palin esue while the rest are unworthy of mention even if I could remember their names

  5. says:

    The typical great man biography tends to be either hagiographic or tendentious especially when dealing with titanic personalities Mao A Life is that rare exception Philip Short has written a balanced thorough to a fault some have said and very well written He gives Mao his due as a military strategist but pulls no punches when addressing such disastrous policies as the Great Leap and the Cultural Revolution Yes it is long but it is far from a slog So gifted a writer is Short that I was never bored and so thorough a researcher that no aspect of Mao's long remarkable life is glossed over It's obvious that Short cares deeply about China and the Chinese people; Mao's myriad policies and pronouncements are seen not only from the eyes of Mao and his Politburo but also those of that uarter of humanity that witnessed them and often suffered from themShort wisely includes a Dramatis Personae section the better to keep track of the dozens of characters who populate this epic drama So don't be intimidated by the length of this book Its heft is proportional to the long controversial and momentous career of Chairman Mao

  6. says:

    This book is WAY TOO LONG I picked it up from the library today and it's really freaking me out I might have to put it in the closet like how I once made my parents do with the Snow White book that had the really scary witch picture in itPhilip Short must have some weird complex about his name that he should be working on in therapy Instead he's completely freaking me out

  7. says:

    Finally finished Well I guess communism doesn't work

  8. says:

    Do not waste your time reading this juvenile rubbish If Mr Short cannot be bothered fact checking the sources he uses for example the fictitious testimony of 'Doctor Li' regarding Mao's alleged sexual proclivities you cannot be bothered reading 600 pages of indulgent fan fiction Perhaps you can though If you are looking not to learn but to be lectured by a man with no particular talent for writing and no honesty or integrity as an academic and what you want to be lectured on is the terribly savage and autocratic Chinaman and his predilection for rule by the lasviscous emperor then you have found your book One of your books there's an entire industry dedicated to churning out this garbage

  9. says:

    an eye opener to the history of china and i learnt much about the suffering of the chinese people and the role mao played in it Extremely well written and was never bored and yet it seems like the book was still too short The history of china is simply too complex but its a good starting point

  10. says:

    I have read very little Chinese history and knew little about Mao and the context of his life before reading this book I therefore have very little to compare it to and against which to assess Philip Short's approach to the subjectAccepting that caveat this is a very readable narrative covering Mao's life and from his family background through to his death in 1976 As a by product it tells the story of China through the end of imperial China the rule of the nationalists and Chiang Kai Shek and the eventual victory of the communistsShort narrates the horrors of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution with an awareness of the devastating impact but without slipping into polemic This contributes to his overall assessment too where Short reaches what seems like a reasonable balance between highlight the massive loss of life and devastation in China against the dramatic changes brought about by Mao and how it contributes to the development of modern ChinaOverall a good introduction very readable and despite the size it does not feel over long

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