Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Date: February 2000
Duration: 5 hours 56 minutes
Born in rural China in 1893, Mao Zedong led his country through "a long-drawn-out adventure in upheaval". In the process he became one of the monumental figures of the 20th century. He died in 1976, just as China was entering detente with the U.S.
This excellent biography illuminates Mao's family life, his early years as a revolutionary, and his brief paradoxical flirtation with capitalism. Spence, the author of 11 books on Chinese history, provides both a panoramic portrait of China and a private portrait of the man at the center of so many historic events. Using sources not readily available, he penetrates the complex persona of Chairman Mao to provide an intimate portrait of a chilling enigma.