Books: Wait Till You Meet Mao

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER (810 pp.)—Edgar Snow—Random House ($10).

In 1936, when Mao Tse-tung had a price of $100,000 on his head and was hiding in a cave village with his dwindling Red army, a young correspondent named Edgar Snow tramped across north China to the Great Wall, found Mao and spent weeks talking social progress with him. He then hurried home to write Red Star Over China, an ardently naive treatise that predicted the ultimate victory of Mao and his Chinese Communists, who were not really Communists but agrarian reformers.

Two years...

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