Mao; The Unknown Story-Non Fiction Blog Post

Mao; The Unknown Story

In the book, Mao; The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, it tells Mao’s early life to his potent rule over China and to his death. This book has some bias parts as it also makes up the theme the authors are trying to tell. The theme of this book is how Mao was an atrocious leader and killed millions of innocent people. For example, it says that Mao’s second wife, Kai-hui was arrested by the Nationalists and was going to be executed. “Months later, she [Kai-hui] herself was dead… Mao made no effort to extricate her and their sons, or even to warn her. And he could easily have saved her… Yet he did not lift a finger”(Chang and Halliday, 91). In this part of the book, the wording like, “even” and “yet”, illuminated that Mao was selfish and even willing to save his own family members. Also, by reading this part one can feel the dislike of the author and Mao.

Another example is that Mao banned civilians from leaving Changchun and starving people hanged themselves and knelt in front of the soldiers. “Even the hard-hearted Lin recommended letting the refugees go. There was no reply from Mao.” (Chang and Halliday, 325) In this part of the book, Lin, a horrible man, showed sympathy for these refugees as Mao did not feel or do anything and let these people starve and suicide. The authors wanted to compare these two men together and depict that Mao was evil and horrific.

Mao needed and wanted help from Stalin so he offered to pay for it with food which caused “famine and deaths from starvation… over 10,000 peasants died of starvation in 1947. Mao knew the situation very well, as he was traveling in the region that year, and saw village children hunting for stray peas in the stables of his entourage… Great Famine, which was likewise Mao’s creation: again the result of his decision to export food to Russia.” (Chang and Halliday, 310). The authors word choice again, really affects the theme as they use the word, “again” which expresses the sarcasm the authors are saying.

This is a link about the author of the book explaining why she is banned from China because of this book and her other book, Wild Swans:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/10314619/Jung-Chang-interview-why-Im-still-banned-in-China.html

This is a link about some history of Mao and what happened:

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4967077

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