Mao: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | May 25, 2013

byDelia Davin

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As a giant of 20th century history, Mao Zedong played many roles: peasant revolutionary, patriotic leader against the Japanese occupation, Marxist theoretician, modernizer, and visionary despot. This Very Short Introduction chronicles Mao's journey from peasant child to ruler of the mostpopulous nation on Earth. He was a founder of both the Chinese Communist Party and the Red Army, and for many years he fought on two fronts, for control of the Party and in an armed struggle for the Party's control of the country. His revolution unified China and began its rise to world powerstatus. He was the architect of the Great Leap Forward that he hoped would make China both prosperous and egalitarian, but instead ended in economic disaster resulting in millions of deaths. It was Mao's growing suspicion of his fellow leaders that led him to launch the Cultural Revolution, and hislast years were dogged by ill-health and his despairing attempts to find a successor whom he trusted. Delia Davin provides an invaluable introduction to Mao, showing him in all his complexity; ruthless, brutal, and ambitious, a man of enormous talent and perception, yet a leader who is still detested by some and venerated by others.

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As a giant of 20th century history, Mao Zedong played many roles: peasant revolutionary, patriotic leader against the Japanese occupation, Marxist theoretician, modernizer, and visionary despot. This Very Short Introduction chronicles Mao's journey from peasant child to ruler of the mostpopulous nation on Earth. He was a founder of bot...

Delia Davin taught at Leeds University from 1988 until her retirement in 2004, where she is now Emeritus Professor of Chinese Studies. Her research interests were focussed on women and gender issues in China and she is the author of Womanwork, Women and the Party in Revolutionary China (OUP, 1976). She wrote some of the earliest studi...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.07 inPublished:May 25, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019958866X

ISBN - 13:9780199588664

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Table of Contents

1. Formative years2. Marxist Labour organizer to Peasant Revolutionary3. Achieving pre-eminence 1934-19494. The revolution institutionalized: first years of the People's Republic5. The Great Leap Forward and its Aftershocks6. The Cultural Revolution7. Decline and death8. Assessments and legaciesReferences and further reading