Top positive review
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Great Leap and Cultural Revolution
on 21 February 2015
I've read several books on Mao and the various historical episodes such as the Long March, Great Leap and Cultural Revolution. I found this book harrowing to read, but couldn't put it down. A large section of carefully-stated sources at the back indicates the quality of accuracy. Of course some events will be accurate, some less so, you can never get historical accuracy perfect because it depends on the quality of the available information. But with such a large source base, this is likely the most accurate account of those times. It rather places Mao as the worst person who has ever lived. If it is true that he was responsible for 70 million deaths of Chinese people, then in comparison to the 50 million worldwide that are generally reckoned to have died in World War II, this largely hidden horror of China's past is truly shocking. I've been to numerous places in China (including Luding, the famous bridge from the Long March) and seen the still-prevalent poverty in many areas, and some scars left by these historical events. How it must have been for ordinary folks during Mao's rein is almost unimaginable compared to most Western society of that time.