Mao Zedong

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Mao ZeDong wrote “Politics is war by other means” reversing Clauswitz’s famous dictum.

Mao believed in politics as a no-holds-barred struggle for the hearts and minds of the Chinese people – and more than a few lives were lost in the battle. Mao’s misbegotten Great Leap Forward mobilized armies of peasants to make China a modern nation and instead mired the countryside in depression and famine.

His Cultural Revolution took political war to the guerilla, house-to-house level – a kind of government-supported anarchy where neighbors criticized neighbors and communities “struggled” members who were suspected of “wrong thought.”

Through all the author of the Little Red Book those minions dutifully quoted from memory remained the inscrutable emperor in his Forbidden City, orchestrating chaos from behind his giant portrait atop the Gate of Heavenly Peace.

Mao ZeDong and China’s struggle into the modern world – in this hour of The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Philip Short, author of “Mao: A Life.”