Author(s): Alexander Pantsov
Mao Zedong was one of the most important figures of the twentieth century, the most important in the history of modern China. This revelatory new biography draws on thousands of Russian documents about Mao and other Chinese leaders that have not been seen before. Pantsov and Levine trace Mao's rise to leadership from the small village where he was born and show his relentless drive to succeed, vividly describing his growing role in the nascent Communist party of China. They disclose startling facts about his personal life, particularly regarding his health and his lifelong, serial affairs with young women. Mao was a complex figure, champion of the poor and brutal tyrant, poet and despot. He brought his country from poverty and economic backwardness into the modern age, led a national revolution and made the rest of the world respect China. But he was also responsible for a loss of life exceeding even that of Hitler and Stalin. A disciple of Stalin, he turned against the USSR after Khrushchev came to power, determined that China would depend on no other country. Mao remade his weak country into a powerful one and shrewdly renewed relations with the U.S. as a counter to the USSR.
He lived and behaved as China's last emperor. Now readers will have the full story of his life and rule as never before.
Alexander V. Pantsov is a professor of history and holds the Edward and Mary Catherine Gerhold Chair in the Humanities at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Born in Moscow, Pantsov graduated from Moscow State University Institute of Asian and African Studies in 1978. He has published more than ten books, among them The Bolsheviks and the Chinese Revolution 1919-1927 and Mao Zedong. Steven I. Levine is research faculty associate in the department of history at the University of Montana. Levine has published extensively in the fields of modern Chinese politics and foreign policy as well as American-East Asian relations.