Despite issues with some of the pronunciation of names (both individual and of cities), this was a very well researched history of one of the more fascinating men of history. While I don't agree with everything the authors wrote, they told their side of the story well and I certainly see all the effort they put into it.
As mentioned above, this reader did not use the current system or romanization of Chinese names. For those who know Chinese, this can be distracting.
Mao is "complex", "sophisticated", and "Nefarious".
I felt the story was told from an objective first hand experience.
The depth and understanding that Robertson Dean brought to the story is something that would take a great deal of effort to bring out from the written text alone.
The moment that particularly moved me was more like a gradual realization of the momentum of the story as a whole that brought me to the point of understanding that Mao was the culmination of what happens when a mind accepts no principles but his own. Left to rule himself by his own desires, Mao caused the deaths of millions of people in China and left a nation wrecked by moral degradation: the country we now see before us today.
Mao may have been one of the most influential people in the modern world because of the profound effect he had on the political philosophy of China, and even beyond. Anyone wishing to gain a deeper insightful understanding of China should listen to this book!
I lived through the era of Mao! But, I'd never heard that he killed 22 million Chinese in one year...1960, and then killed 14 million more the next year! A lot of other information is in this book....and it's the best I've read.
The book is excellent and important, but the audio is marred by the absence of the book's several hundred pages of endnotes and references which are desperately needed to understand the quality of the authors' claims. That's the problem with this kind of book in audio. Also, the narrator has no clue how to pronounce Chinese names, so Zhou/Chou Enlai's name is pronounced "Chow," Peng and Deng are similarly butchered, etc. It hurts.
Something about myself...happy now?
It's cliche, but I could listen to Robertson Dean read the phone book in one sitting. I love everything about his speech and mannerism. He's simply the best narrator there is.
I ripped through this 26hr book in under a month, which may be a new record. It's that good.
The slow rise from fey, middle class academic to brutal sociopath warrants the time it takes for make the journey. In that way, the structure of the book serves the story. Dictatorships don't happen overnight. They take thought, planning.and careful manipulation of those around you. What's stunning, though, is how this thoroughly unlikable man managed to starve and murder tens of millions of his own people and remain in power. Often, especially in the last half of the book, I found myself screaming at my iPod for the citizens to start an actual revolution against Mao.
If there's a moral to the book, it's that education is the key. Keep the people ignorant and illiterate and dictatorship is easy. Mao continued to read voraciously as he destroyed the books and culture of those he was supposed to protect. Knowledge is power. Ignorance is powerlessness. Get the book and get some knowledge.
No, The performance was weak with very poor and confusing pronunciation of the Chinese names. The account that is afforded the reader appears to be highly biased be the authors tragic personal experience. The many, highly serious flaws in Mao and his policies is well documented in the West but, Jung does not deliver an objective account in these matters the way, for example, a Barbara Tuchman could. This writing is to an historical account what Fox News is to journalism. It is designed more to excite and entertain for commercial gain than to actually explain the facts.
Objectivity is difficult to maintain if one has been personally and profoundly impacted by the subject. In this case, however, it would appear that objectivity was never an intended outcome and so the book comes closer to historical fiction than revelation. This is unfortunate because there appears to be a good deal of research that went into its construction.
Learn how to pronounce Chinese proper nouns.
The highly biased tone of this book left me curious for a motive. I searched the web for a history of Jung's life which is where I (believe I) found a possible explanation for the slanted interpretation she delivers.
Astonishing tale of a greatest tragedy in human history consciously caused just by one man, a psychopath, Mao. Very enlightening peace of work read by an amazing narrator. Must read for anyone interested in history.
Definitely one of few books that I want to read more than once.
For someone who knows nothing about Chinese history this is a wonderful book. It is fascinating to see behind the scenes what happened and help me find China to be the country it is today. Clearly Mao was an evil and power hungry individual as this book portrays. The author though seems to have a personal vendetta to vilify Mao Zedong rather than portraying the history with objectivity. I'm also not too sure whether there is enough information to verify certain parts of this history but the author seems to use what makes most logical sense without discussing that there is room for other ways in which the history could have occurred.
Yes, well researched and lots of information.
A very detailed history. The most frustrating part is the author's continual minimizing of any of Mao's achievements. Mao's history is undeniably disgusting in how he treated his own people, there is no real need to put everything he does in the least flattering light, it takes away from the credibility.
Yes, very informative.