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Mao's Great Famine: The History Of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-62 #2020

Mao s Great Famine The History Of China s Most Devastating Catastrophe Between and 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 years The experimen

  • Title: Mao's Great Famine: The History Of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-62
  • Author: Frank Dikötter
  • ISBN: 9780747595083
  • Page: 315
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Mao's Great Famine: The History Of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-62 By Frank Dikötter, 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 theBetween 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 Dikotter s astonishing, riveting and magnificently detailed book chronicles an era in Chinese history much speculated about but never before fully documented Dikotter 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, Dikotter 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.

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      Published :2019-09-23T11:45:31+00:00

    1 thought on “Mao's Great Famine: The History Of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-62

    1. In a recent blog on Liberia I alluded in passing to Joseph Conrad, specifically having his novella Heart of Darkness in mind Have you read it If you have you will recall the final words of Kurtz in his moment of epiphany shortly before his death The horror The horror Let me take you to another heart of darkness let me take you to China in the middle of the twentieth century, to the time of the so called Great Leap Forward I ve been reading Mao s Great Famine by Frank Dik tter, a new study of tha [...]

    2. This is goddamn terrifying.The short narrative of the Great Leap Forward is that Mao enacted a series of policies from 1958 1962 which fostered crash industrial development on the Stalinist model This led to communal farms, sale of all agricultural products, importing heavy machinery, and increasingly farfetched schemes such as backyard furnaces to increase steel output, a pest hunting campaign which led millions of citizens chasing sparrows instead of planting crops, and the close planting of c [...]

    3. This is one of those occasions when I almost wish the God i believed in was the vicious judgemental harsh one that some fundamentalists of all flavours seem to look to This was brilliantly written but a really difficult wading through the horror and disgusting callousness of the Chinese regime at the time of the Great Leap Forward As I type this I went and found my copy of Billy Bragg s album Workers playtime cos I wanted to check and yep lo and behold he has the image of happy communist chinese [...]

    4. It is hard to exaggerate the sheer chilling effect this book by Frank Dik tter can have It has made me realise that the statement by Gordon Kerr in his primer A Short History Of China that the death tolls in China throughout its documented 4000 years of history are often staggering, demonstrating not only a disdain for human life and with that also providing a vast and inexhaustible supply of manpower In the end this book brings the disdain and inexhaustible supply into focus.The book itself is [...]

    5. One man s utopia is another man s dystopia Utopia is a dream we aspire an equilibrium that dignifies all human survival When faultless notions embrace immorality and audacious obstinacy emitted from one solitary individual, an illusionary veil is fashioned camouflaging tyranny, torment and nightmarish endurance On every occasion of my understanding Mao and his political explosion, I cannot help but to refer to my old frayed copy of Orwell s 1984 blaring the ubiquitous caption BIG BROTHER IS WATC [...]

    6. Been from China myself, this books is a masterpiece It told me stories that was never been told to me when I was a student in China back in the 80s and 90s All the characters described in the book such as Deng, Zhu, and Peng were described to us as heroes in Chinese schools I truly believed it when Frank Dikotter said that in recent interviews, people who survived the great famine still blamed the Soviet Union for the whole disaster, it was what had been told to me in Chinese school Even now, Ch [...]

    7. A very informative, well researched book about the effects of the disastrous Great Leap Forward, a supposed revolution in industry and agriculture dreamt up by the fuckwit known as Mao Zedong.It s long and dense, but a valuable, compelling read The author focuses way on the politics and political hierarchy of the times, at the expense of personal stories from on the ground, in the trenches, but attempts to make up for that in the last part of the book.It s well written enough, but suffers due [...]

    8. I ll keep this brief When cuddly old Uncle Wedgie Benn dies and the eulogies pour forth, remember him as an life long apologist for Mao, the biggest of the socialist mass murderers of the 20th century.Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot et al pale by comparison to Mao Read this book and try to comprehend what this moron did to 45 million of his own people.Given the grim subject matter it s a good read depressing but never grinding It s essential for anyone interested in the evils of the big state and collec [...]

    9. 3.5 rating Well written, interesting, and worth the read However, it struck me as an expanded magazine article it could have been much shorter without losing much Or, perhaps better said, I think it could should have had both breadth and depth E.g it seems lacking in comparison to other books recently read Clark s Iron Kingdom re the history of Prussia and The Emperor of All Maladies a biography of cancer , both of which are, admittedly, superb.

    10. Unfortunately, this is a totally confusing ramble about statistics The information would better be presented in tables and graphs rather than in prose The other part of the book is about quotes or not by far too many people Again, we get lost, especially those of us who only know a couple of the names in Chinese politics of the time I stopped reading it or less halfway through I m sure I caught most of the gist of the story, but spared myself endless tons of rice and other produce.

    11. Like most of my reviews, this is a personal response.Despite the fact that the author uses admittedly soft sources 341 due to the difficulty in accessing state archives that are not available to the public it is a chilling account of what happened during this time Being a young mother, it was particularly difficult to read about the effects on the children, the women, and the elderly The fact that women were forced out of the home and forced to leave their children in state run child care to be [...]

    12. straszna ksiazka mali ludzie i ich wizje dobrej zmiany i spoleczenstwa, ktore musza zyc z konsekwencjami chorych wizji wprowadzanych w czyn historia kolem sie toczy.

    13. I suppose that you can throw communism into the same pot as laws and sausages as far as things you don t want to know about how they are made You have to wonder about the collective damage done to the Chinese psyche when your omnipotent leader starves 35 million of his subjects to death simply to make a point in his argument The logic involved in Mao s Great Leap Forward is about a million times Orwellian and anything George Orwell could have conceived in his darkest hour The bottom line in thi [...]

    14. El comunismo tiene a su haber m s muertes, crueldad y horror que el mismo holocausto pero el mundo se ha negado a reconocelo.

    15. Discrediting Mao has become an industry for a reason As late stage capitalism metastasizes, imperialist armies rush out across the globe, and we accelerate past the global warming tipping point, the 21st century ruling class must inoculate us against remembering and calling upon the successes of socialism in the 20th century The latest book produced by this well funded project is Mao s Great Famine, by Frank Dik tter It is a collection of selected anecdotes than a legitimate analysis, loose wit [...]

    16. When I picked up this book, I was planning to read, probably, 10 pages per night That sounds about right, I thought I could deal with the anger and the sadness generated from 10 pages of writing It turns out that it was harder.It s almost strange that it s so hard After all, Dikotter writes with such a calm, almost neutral voice I myself couldn t keep calm as the horror plays out Perhaps all of us know the general idea of the Great Leap Forward collectivization, collapse of farming, industry, se [...]

    17. A horrific subject, well researched and clearly organized I would most definitely recommend this read if you would like a comprehensive and thorough look at the famine and its terrible effect on millions of people under Mao Zedong.

    18. While the book itself was okay, I m really glad I read this book because it really makes me want to talk to my parents about their experiences during this time period I haven t had a chance yet but I ll be seeing them in a few days So thank you Dikotter for that.Onto the book itself, it feels a little too much like an academic writing There are tons of numbers thrown in there and he explains how he got these numbers and addresses some of the possible biases for the numbers which honestly is not [...]

    19. There is a great deal to commend in Dik tter s chronicle of The Great Leap Forward The work undertaken in sifting through what must have been mountains of often misleading statistics and reports to produce a damning indictment on the madness which savaged a population, stands as a testament to the author s academic excellence One would expect it to take a place as one of the key works on the period, to be used by academics in the seemingly futile attempt to comprehend the scale of suffering in M [...]

    20. Disappointing.Dikotter did a lot of research for this book He gets 5 stars for that But the presentation of the material thematically makes it difficult to follow If I were looking for a GENERAL indictment of communism or Maoism, I could think of no better collection of facts than this book although he often devolves into sadomasochistic descriptions of the various atrocities that humans are capable of inflicting on each other However, that s not what I was expecting from this book I already kno [...]

    21. Gruesome, horrifying, meticulously researched and eminently readable Stalin is often mis quoted as saying that a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic his disciple Mao Zedong may have taken this literally, presiding over a bureaucratic regime so wholly, shockingly, wilfully corrupt and incompetent that the margin for error of those who died in the great Chinese famine is in the region of 15 million people between roughly 30 and 45 million deaths As a work of historical inves [...]

    22. This book represents an overview of one the most shocking man made cataclysms in world history In this book we see how one autocratic leader took the idea of the Great Leap Forward in order to propel onward his ambition for China to be a major industrial nation In the process of trying to realize his dream, Mao instigated the destruction of forty five million people s lives The way in which the history in this book has been researched, its attention to detail gives new life to all the incredible [...]

    23. I read thisd want to puke But because the contents of this books are so enlightening and powerful and the story of this tragic time is so gripping It s a non fiction book but the way it s presented you feel like you ve been thrown into a real story And all you can do is ask why I m so glad that this books has finally been made possible It s fresh and recent but because of the intense secretness of the official archives, the whole tragedy risks being erased from modern memory.Everyone should read [...]

    24. A well researched book, even considering how difficult it still is to get information about this famine out of China It very clearly describes the workings of Mao s inner circle in the first half of the book and the second half details the results of the failed communal experience If you ever wondered why Communism doesn t work, read this fascinating, heartbreaking book It should be required reading in colleges which will never happen.

    25. A very thorough, maybe too thorough, review of the economic and environmental cost of Mao s failed plan to modernize China It is almost unbelievable the human tragedy China suffered during the first sixty years of the 20th century Too many statistics to be a great book but overall very good.

    26. Not what I was expecting More to do with the politics and tables of claims of production rather than the people s themselves stories What was really frightening was how much the description of Mao matches the personality and behaviour of Donald Trump The vainglorious man who believes the universe should revolve around him The public humiliation and insults to his subordinates in order to keep them fight for his favour I guess all dictators have the same personality traits.

    27. This is a book about the effects of slavery at all levels of a totalitarian regime In 1958 Chairman Mao effectively fell out with Stalin and determined that the People s Republic of China would become self sufficient, no matter what the cost He became a slave to the idea that the population would take the Great Leap Forward willingly He was aware that there would be suffering but felt that it would be worth the human cost.The entire population were enslaved into the GLF resulting in the displace [...]

    28. This is a book you won t find in Chinese libraries it destroys the image of Mao Zedong as the benevolant leader of Communist China It is a book full of tragedy, the so called Great Leap Forward which took the lives of approximately 30 million Chinese people some estimates even consider a death toll of 45 million during the great famine which was caused.The Great Leap Forward starts with the bidding between China and Russia Kruschchev boosts that Russia will overtake the United States in 15 years [...]

    29. Ik geef het 4 sterretjes omwille van de immense tijd en opzoekwerk dat er aan dit boek besteed is en omdat het mij echt een goed en volledig beeld heeft gegeven van wat er tijdens die periode van 1958 1962 gebeurd is.Na mijn reis naar China wou ik meer weten over Mao en de geschiedenis van China s grootste drama zoals ook de ondertitel van Frank Dik tters boek luidt De Mao die op vele plaatsen in China nog trots aan de muren van vele gezinnen en openbare gebouwen prijkt Door de nieuwe archiefwet [...]

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