Friday, January 20, 2006

# Posted 12:57 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

JUST ARRIVED FROM AMAZON: Mao: The Unknown Story and President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination.
(3) opinions -- Add your opinion

I'm Reading "Mao" now, it's quite good. Amazingly well-researched, it certainly paints a brutal (and more true than most myth of the man accounts for) picture of the leader. I'd definitely recommend it for those interested in the rise of dictators or abuses that occur when unaccountable governments reign.
I'm also working my way through it, and finding it pretty bad, which is sad, given how good Wild Swans was. They seem to have been collecting all sorts of weakly or non-sourced stories about him and lumping them all together in one big mess. Some of this is probably true, but there is no way to know which parts and a lot of them are contradictory. (You can't be both self-serving and a mindless tool of Moscow at the same time.)

If you want a book on what an S.O.B. Mao was, Li Zhisui's The Private Life of Chairman Mao is a lot better

There is a pretty good review by Andrew Nathan here


Lots more links here

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