Mao: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A giant of 20th century history, Mao Zedong played many roles: peasant revolutionary, patriotic leader against the Japanese occupation, Marxist theoretician, modernizer, and visionary despot. This Very Short Introduction chronicles Mao's journey from peasant child to ruler of the most populous nation on Earth. Delia Davin provides an invaluable portrait of Mao, showing him in all his complexity--ruthless, brutal, and ambitious, a man of enormous talent and perception, yet a leader who is still detested by some and venerated by others. She shows how he helped found both the Chinese Communist Party and the Red Army, and how for many years he fought on two fronts, for control of the Party and in an armed struggle for the Party's control of the country. His revolution unified China and began its rise to world power status. He was the architect of the Great Leap Forward that he hoped would make China both prosperous and egalitarian, but instead ended in economic disaster resulting in millions of deaths. It was Mao's growing suspicion of his fellow leaders that led him to launch the Cultural Revolution, and his last years were dogged by ill-health and his despairing attempts to find a successor. Davis also looks at the years of his death, when the reform leadership abandoned Mao's revolutionary goals and embraced the market.
About the Series:
Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.
Although poorly armed, China’s army of 1.2 million ‘volunteers’ was so numerous that it was able to push the UN forces back. Negotiations based on the division of Korea at the 38th Parallel began in July 1951 and an armistice was signed in 1953. Unbelievably, in this short war, the Chinese suffered almost one million casualties. Participation cost China dear in other ways. It confirmed the US adoption of Taiwan as a client state, isolated Beijing diplomatically, and increased its dependence on
chain-smoked for a long time. He had been distressed to see how old she looked and asked his doctor about her condition and its treatment. His reaction was perhaps connected to intimations of his own mortality as he struggled with minor ailments and his usual insomnia. He was more than ever addicted to sleeping pills. Although propaganda emphasized Mao’s frugality, his life in Zhongnanhai was comfortable enough. His bedroom was dominated by an enormous bed covered in heaps of books and papers
began to protest on the streets, to write wall posters, and to form Red Guard groups as their schools closed. All sorts of grievances emerged. Common themes were tyrannical Party leaders, nepotism, cronyism, and poor teaching, but local and individual issues also fuelled direct action. Anxious that China was descending into chaos, Liu Shaoqi rang Mao in Hangzhou to ask him to come back to Beijing and take charge of the movement. When Mao demurred, Liu and Deng Xiaoping flew south to ask what
idealism that had motivated many Chinese to work hard and to accept privations for the sake of the revolution and the progress it would bring was replaced in many cases by cynical or fearful compliance. Living standards were little higher than they had been a decade earlier. Housing was still more overcrowded. Life, even in the cities was rather dismal. The few films, operas, and plays produced, like the new literature, dealt exclusively with revolutionary themes. Jiang Qing’s model operas were
Co., 1977. Mao no longer wished to see wife: Short, Mao, p. 614. Mao warns about ‘Gang of 4’: MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, pp. 397–8. Eulogy for Zhou Enlai: Ezra Vogel, Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of Modern China, Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press, 2011, p. 160. Chapter 8: Legacies and assessments: the posthumous Mao Agreement to be cremated: Answers to Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, Deng Xiaoping, SW, vol. ii, Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1984, p. 331. ‘Two