Taking Aim at Mao

Just so you know where they stand, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday declare in the very first sentence of their impeccably detailed biography of Mao Zedong that he "was responsible for well over 70 million deaths in peacetime, more than any other 20th-century leader." And that's one of the more positive things they have to say about the man who is still widely revered as the founder of modern China. To Chang and Halliday, Mao was a scheming opportunist who butchered his way to the top, then squandered the lives and wealth of his people in a bungled quest for global...

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