Mao (Routledge Historical Biographies)

Mao (Routledge Historical Biographies)

Michael Lynch

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0415215781

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Michael Lynch presents an engaging and thorough account of Mao's life and politics, making use of a wealth of primary and secondary sources. He locates Maoism in the broader context of twentieth century Chinese history, discussing the development of the Chinese Communist Party, the creation of the People's Republic of China and the Cultural Revolution, and the part played by Mao in the Cold War. Details of Mao's controversial private life as well as his political and philosophical thought add to this diverse picture of the influential leader.

This well-written biography will be essential reading to anyone interested in twentieth century China and its most memorable figure.

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the Jiangxi and Yanan years, he continued to make the furtherance of women’s rights an integral part of the CCP’s message. Mao’s numerous and celebrated studies of the peasant question all showed a sensitivity to the special place and needs of women in the economic and social order and offer a number of fascinating insights into their status and position as he saw it. He commended the special skills of women as propaganda agents. He pressed for their right to hold property on the same terms as

Lindesay, Marching with Mao: A Biographical Journey (London, 1993), p. 183. 31 See Harrison Salisbury, The New Emperors Mao and Deng: A Biography (London, 1992), p. 62, and Li Zhisui, The Private Life of Chairman Mao (London, 1994), p. 586. 32 Philip Short, Mao: A Life (London, 1999), p. 521. 33 Henry Kissinger, Years of Renewal (London, 1999), p. 154. 34 Li Zhisui, The Private life of Chairman Mao (London, 1994), pp. 578–79. 35 Ibid. CONCLUSION 1 Li Zhisui, The Private life of Chairman

adventure, rebellion, and derring-do. However, in time the classics came to impress him and they became a lifelong interest. Nor were they merely of academic concern. Throughout his career Mao turned to them for practical guidance. Rensheng seems to have been unimpressed by his son’s scholarship. He wanted him to use his abilities to do the accounts and prepare himself to become the farm manager. The official guides at Mao Zedong’s shrine used to inform visitors that Mao hated his father, who

which he took all the blame upon himself. By early 1931 Li had been replaced as leader by Wang Ming. The failure of left adventurism left Mao in a far stronger position. It gave prescience to what he had written to the Central Committee a few months prior to the introduction of the Li Lisan line: In the revolution in semi-colonial China, the peasant struggle must always fail if it does not have the leadership of the workers, but the revolution is never harmed if the peasant struggle outstrips

mainstream. In such a climate, individualism had no place. Mao put it in these terms: Some comrades see only the interests of the part and not the whole. . . . They do not understand the Party’s system of democratic centralism; they do not understand that the Communist Party not only M A O ’ S P A T H T O P O W E R 123 needs democracy but needs centralization even more . . . the Party’s interests are above personal or sectional interests.31 However Mao’s authoritarianism is judged, it is

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