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The Real Story

Mao Zedong was one of the most important figures of the twentieth century, the most important in the history of modern China. A complex figure, he was both a champion of the poor and a brutal tyrant, a poet and a despot. In this major new biography, the authors draw upon extensive Russian documents previously unavailable to reveal surprising details about Mao’s rise to power, his leadership in China, and the true nature of his relationship with Stalin.

Mao brought his country from poverty and economic backwardness into the modern age and onto the world stage. But he was also responsible for an unprecedented loss of life during the disastrous Great Leap Forward and the bloody Cultural Revolution. He lived and behaved as China’s last emperor.

Mao is the full story of Mao’s life and rule told as never before.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 784 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451654486 | 
  • October 2013
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Read an Excerpt

Historical figures merit objective biographies. Yet the challenge of writing such biographies is daunting even under the best of circumstances. The biographer must pursue a seemingly endless trail of published and unpublished sources, often in a variety of languages, exhaust the contents of numerous archives, winnow truth and fact from rumor and falsehood, strike the right balance between the public persona and the private person, and judge the wisdom and folly of the subject... see more

Articles About This Book


Posted on 250 Words

Posted by Nick Greene

They say that those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. But you could do worse than aping some of history's greats when plotting your own path toward power. These books will teach both the dos and the don'ts of some of mankind's...

About the Authors

Alexander V. Pantsov
Photo courtesy of Capital University
Steven I. Levine
Photograph by Spotlight Photographers



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