Mao: A Biography

Front Cover
Stanford University Press, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 571 pages
Everyone who came in close contact with Mao was taken aback at the anarchy of his personal ways. He ate idiosyncratically. He became increasingly sexually promiscuous as he aged. He would stay up much of the night, sleep during much of the day, and at times he would postpone sleep, remaining awake for thirty-six hours or more, until tension and exhaustion overcame him.

Yet many people who met Mao came away deeply impressed by his intellectual reach, originality, style of power-within-simplicity, kindness toward low-level staff members, and the aura of respect that surrounded him at the top of Chinese politics. It would seem difficult to reconcile these two disparate views of Mao. But in a fundamental sense there was no brick wall between Mao the person and Mao the leader. This biography attempts to provide a comprehensive account of this powerful and polarizing historical figure.

 

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User Review  - datrappert - LibraryThing

Terrill is one of the best writers on China, and this is a pretty good biography of Mao; although after June 4th, Terrill came to a much less idealized view of Chinese history. See his book CHINA IN OUR TIME. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Riverwest - LibraryThing

I decided to read a biography of Mao after seeing "Nixon in China," the opera by John Adams, in a live-at-the-met" production a couple of months ago. Seeing the opera made me realize how little I knew ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
13
Prologue
28
Knowledge for What? 191018
45
Wider World in Peking and Shanghai 191821
64
Organizing 192127
86
Struggle 192735
119
A Grip on the Future 193536
149
Fighting Japan 193645
167
Doubts 195657
271
Tinkering with the System 195859
291
Russia and Beyond 195864
310
The Furies of Utopia 196569
337
A Tall Thing Is Easy to Break 196971
367
Nixon 1972
389
An Arrow Near the End of Its Flight 1976
435
Epilogue
459

The Sage 193645
186
A Ripening Peach 194549
203
We Shall Put Aside the Things We Know Well
226
Remolding 195153
241
Building 195356
254
Reference Notes
489
86
500
271
514
Bibliography
535
Index
553

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About the author (1999)

Ross Terrill is a Research Associate at Harvard University's East Asian Research Center. He is the author of several books on China, including Madame Mao: The White-Boned Demon.

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