A Letter From The Publisher, Mar. 21, 1977

As Mao Tse-tung's wife, Chiang Ch'ing wielded more power than any other woman in China and possibly in the world. The outside world knew a few facts about her—she had been a movie actress when she met Mao, and became something akin to China's cultural dictator. Yet, like all of China's top leaders, she was shrouded in mystery. Though once considered a possible successor to her husband, she is now in disgrace, apparently held captive by her opponents.

This week, TIME provides an insight into the rise and fall of Mme. Mao, with excerpts from an upcoming book that...

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