Monday, July 18, 2005

Mao the Pitiless

The Age has a short interview with Jung Chang, the author of Mao: The Unknown Story. The following except hit me like a rock. I have to find out whether it’s true:

When Stalin took as hostages both Mao's son and the son of Mao's rival, Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang Kai-shek held back on his chance to wipe out the communists in China so he could get his son back. Mao told Stalin: "Do what you like."

I notice that the Amazon ratings seem to have a high standard deviation, indicating possible controversy.

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At Monday, July 18, 2005 9:13:00 PM, Blogger mal said...

mmmmm, could be true, but also has the aroma of "legend" like George and the Cherry Tree.

I was surprised to learn that Chang was educated in Moscow also. It does make sense with Suns making the Komintern a "centrist communist" party

At Tuesday, July 19, 2005 1:34:00 AM, Blogger Frank Warner said...

Time magazine seems to believe it. Looks well documented.

At Tuesday, July 19, 2005 12:38:00 PM, Blogger jj mollo said...

Thanks for the link Frank.

I notice that some of the reviews on Amazon claim that the whole book is just propaganda put out by the current government to discredit Mao. Presumably the only reason that the government is banning the book is to draw attention to it?

Time says Stalin held his son for 4 years, until Mao was willing to trade a pro-Stalinist Chinese official. I haven't seen the Mao quote supported anywhere. This must have been early, 1945-1949 maybe. The same son, Anying, was killed in Korea in 1950.


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