By Jeff J. Brown
Pictured above: the massive, open air statue of young Mao Zedong, in Changsha, Hunan, which I got to visit recently. Never forget that the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people agree with his socialist, anti-imperial, anti-colonial world view.
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Live from the streets of China, Jeff
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Merry Maomas! Mao Zedong was born on December 26th, 1893, 125 years ago.
It took me many years of research and writing to overcome a lifetime of rabid, foaming at the mouth, anticommunist hysteria, to finally understand the man. I made a number of historical errors about Mao in 44 Days, the first book of The China Trilogy (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/05/19/the-china-trilogy/ and https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/06/18/praise-for-the-china-trilogy-the-votes-are-in-it-r-o-c-k-s-what-are-you-waiting-for/ ). Thousands of hours of reading and research later, I made up for it in Book #2, China Rising, and expanded on Mao in a big way in Book #3, China Is Communist Dammit.
What I have come to learn and appreciate is that Mao Zedong was the most important and influential 20th century leader, as well as the most successful.
Don’t believe me? Outside of The China Trilogy, I have written quite a bit about Mao.
1. He was the world’s greatest liberator of women,
2. Here is a good review of his life and times, and why the dazzling China we know today would not be possible without the Mao Era, 1949-1978,
3. Someone on Quora asked the question, How would you react if someone says, ‘I hate Mao Zedong’ in front of you? and my response is here,
4. I recently visited his hometown, Shaoshan, Hunan and reflected on my time there,
5. Here is a nice opinion piece from a Chinese person, reflecting on Mao,
6. No one can say the Chinese don’t have a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor about their heroes. Here is a post from local social media, with English translation,
7. The fact that Mao’s birthday is the day after Jesus Christ’s is also not lost on the Chinese. Here is an online question asking if Mao should be considered a saint. Someone concurred, while adding that he is the East’s rising red sun.
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Why and How China works: With a Mirror to Our Own History
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