China: Mao's Mistakes

Assessing his legacy

Since his death 4½ years ago, Mao Tse-tung has come under increasing criticism from the comrades who succeeded him. They have spoken bluntly about the "errors" Mao made in his later years, and have even authorized the taking down of Mao statues and pictures all over China. Yet long lines still gather whenever the Great Helmsman's mausoleum in Peking's Tienanmen Square is opened to the public. What the Communist Party needed was a definitive perspective on Mao. That judgment appeared to have been handed down in a speech by a comrade of Mao's from the Long March days,...

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