World: The Mao Papers: A New View of China's Chairman

HE is the titular if not still the actual ruler of one-fifth of humankind; yet China's Mao Tse-tung remains the most shadowy figure among the leaders of 20th century Communism. There seems to be almost no middle ground between his reverential propagandists and his vituperative critics. As a result, the man who has altered the destiny of China —and the world—almost invariably appears two-dimensional. In the '30s and '40s, a few foreigners, notably the American journalist Edgar Snow, captured some titillating glimpses of Mao. But after the Communists gained power in 1949, Peking's...

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