We have already met Jung Chang when we talked about her “Wild Swans: three daughters of China”. She had already introduced us to the hardships the Chinese population had to endure under Mao Zedong’s rule.
This book, as the title suggests, features the dictator himself as the main character. Jung Chang tells us how this son of a farmer, born in a remote rural province, managed to take over the Chinese communist party first and the whole country after that. It also tells us how dozens of millions Chinese had to suffer and die because of the ambitions of a single man.We must point out that the author’s family and herself had to suffer a lot because of Mao’s policy, and it is pretty obvious that this book was written with the clear intention of demolishing the chairman’s reputation, by shedding some light on all those shameful aspects of his life that the CCP has managed to keep secret for decades. It is not exactly written as a detached academic work, yet it is the first attempt at telling the story from a different point of view, by finally challenging the official narrative, which - until the end of the twentieth century - has been the only available one, not only in China but in the whole world.