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.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 784 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451654486 | 
  • October 2013

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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

Alexander V. Pantsov

Alexander V. Pantsov is a professor of history and holds the Edward and Mary Catherine Gerhold Chair in the Humanities at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Born in Moscow, Pantsov graduated from Moscow State University Institute of Asian and African Studies in 1978. He has published more than ten books, among them The Bolsheviks and the Chinese Revolution 1919-1927 and Mao Zedong.

Steven I. Levine
Photograph by Spotlight Photographers

Steven I. Levine

Steven I. Levine is research faculty associate in the department of history at the University of Montana. Levine has published extensively in the fields of modern Chinese politics and foreign policy as well as American-East Asian relations.