Mao Tse Tung (Part 1)

Dennis Bloodworth, Philip Short, Timothy Cheek, Jung Chang, Jon Halliday, Gregor Benton, Lin Chun, Jonathan D Spence, Harrison E. Salisbury

All biographies of Mao focus on his failures and foibles.

They magnify his disastrous Hundred Flowers Campaign of Feb 1957, and the Anti-Rightist Movement that followed it in June 1957.

They then highlight the 46 million that died due to Mao’s Great Leap Forward plan of 1958. (The New Emperors p.166)

Lastly, they criticize the sufferings of many allies of Mao and intellectuals caused by his chaotic Cultural revolution of 1966 to 1976.

All these are justified criticisms. However, a good biography must not omit the “good “deeds of the man.

After all, we have on record the public statement by The Father of Modern China, Deng Xiao Ping, that Mao had 70% achievements and 30% mistakes. (Page 129 A critical introduction to Mao).

Chen Yun (the author of many of Deng’s economic reforms) observed that had Mao died in 1956 he would have been hailed as China’s great even greatest ‘ leader. But alas he died in 1976. (The New Emperors p 223)

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