Mao's Great Famine
The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962
Автор(и) : Frank Dikötter
Издател : Walker & Company
Място на издаване : London, UK
Година на издаване : 2010
ISBN : 978-0-802-77768-3
Брой страници : 420
Език : английски
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Between 1958 and 1962, China descended into hell. Mao Zedong threw his country into a frenzy with the Great Leap Forward, an attempt to catch up and overtake Britain in less than 15 years. The experiment ended in the greatest catastrophe the country had ever known, destroying tens of millions of lives. Access to Communist Party archives has long been denied to all but the most loyal historians, but now a new law has opened up thousands of central and provincial documents that fundamentally change the way one can study the Maoist era. Frank Dikötter's astonishing, riveting and magnificently detailed book chronicles an era in Chinese history much speculated about but never before fully documented.Dikötter shows that instead of lifting the country among the world's superpowers and proving the power of communism, as Mao imagined, in reality the Great Leap Forward was a giant - and disastrous - step in the opposite direction. He demonstrates, as nobody has before, that under this initiative the country became the site not only of one of the most deadly mass killings of human history (at least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death) but also the greatest demolition of real estate - and catastrophe for the natural environment - in human history, as up to a third of all housing was turned to rubble and the land savaged in the maniacal pursuit of steel and other industrial accomplishments. Piecing together both the vicious machinations in the corridors of power and the everyday experiences of ordinary people, Dikötter at last gives voice to the dead and disenfranchised.Exhaustively researched and brilliantly written, this magisterial, groundbreaking account definitively recasts the history of the People's Republic of China. An unprecedented, groundbreaking history of China's Great Famine that recasts the era of Mao Zedong and the history of the People's Republic of China.
"The most authoritative and comprehensive study of the biggest and most lethal famine in history. A must-read.”—Jung Chang, author of Mao: The Unknown Story
"This book is a grim, mesmerizing, astonishing account of those terrible years, when officials reported record-breaking harvests even as ordinary folk scavenged meat from the corpses of their neighbors... Mao’s reputation as "a great revolutionary" who "made some mistakes" will not survive the publication of this book. He was, as Frank Dikötter makes devastatingly clear, one of the great monsters of world history. China has yet to come to terms with his legacy."—History Book Club
"Dikotter is on the way to becoming a sort of A.J.P. Taylor of modern Chinese history... a magnificent book that will set new scholarly standards."—The Taipei Times
Frank Dikötter is Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong and Professor of the Modern History of China at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is a key proponent of studying the history of China in global perspective, and has published a series of innovative books, from his classic The Discourse of Race in Modern China (Univ. Stanford Press 1992) to the controversial Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs in China (Univ. Chicago Press 2004).
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