Friday, November 25, 2005

Controversial New Book on Mao

I guess its controversial since it paints him as pure evil and incompetent instead of evil and partially competent.
In Berkeley, where revolutionaries schooled in the '60s tilt against global capitalism and post-socialist state China is a growing field of academic study, radicals and scholars alike are coming to grips with a new biography that paints Chinese communist icon Mao Zedong as pure evil.

In "Mao: The Unknown Story," authors Jung Chang and Jon Halliday portray Mao (1893-1976) as a cynical hedonist who rose to absolute power on Soviet strongman Josef Stalin's muscle and his willingness to crush millions of peasants in famine, war and sadistic repression.

The authors, who spent a decade on the project and scoured private and government records in China and Russia, say Mao killed 10 times more innocents than Hitler and was as pitiless as he was incompetent as a revolutionary. The fabled Long March of the 1930s? Bungled. The Cultural Revolution of the '60s and '70s? Nothing more than a murderous fit of pique by a tyrant upset that he'd been crossed by rivals and enamored of public torture.

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