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Mao: The Unknown Story (Jung, Halliday) …....   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-7-23 23:00:11 |Display all floors
This post was edited by expatter at 2012-7-25 00:10


Mao: The Unknown Story Jung Chang and Jon Halliday New York, AlfredKnopf, 2005.


Moderators:I am not sure if this topic will fly in this forum, but I do not see why it should not in that Mao is regularly vilified in these forum pages in the same virulent way as Jung and Halliday vilify Mao, and even if not more so in recent posts in Talk to China Daily.


This 2005 book is banned in China, and for my own part I believe that this slanderous, badly written and self-serving book should be thrown straight in the dustbin. It creates itself from the same story as even Edgar Snow portrays when writing about his interviews with Mao and if one reads the two books ‘Mao: The Unknown Story’ and ‘Red Star over China’ together, then one finds there is little difference except Jung and Halliday superimpose their own thoughts and comments, and in addition extemporize to no doubt help the willingly complicit readers to loathe their target in the same overtly obvious way as the authors.


In other words, the authors use speculation and derive implication based on their own hatred and bias to influence the reader to believe that the communist revolution of China was won by an unwashed, womanizing, bigoted, corrupt, incompetent, wooley-minded person and his equally foul unscrupulous cronies and cliques. All this is the face of the massive support ($3 billion) given by the US to rid China of the creeping menace of communism. JH make a point of focusing on their loathing of Mao throughout the book and completely ignore any positive legacy of the communist revolution on the lives on the people such as mortality, education, women’s rights, land-distribution and freeing China from external foreign control.


In addition, despite the west’s unhealthy loathing of China’s politics (communism) that China has become a force to be reckoned with in not only world-power but also is a formidable economic force. Or 'the Chinese have stood up'.


For this book I would first like to look at the extremely poor and non-academic methods employed by Jung and Halliday (despite the 150 pages of supposedcitation, mostly inaccessible) in the opening pages of the first few chapters (God knows they were bad enough) and then move on to some of the monumental anomalies (17 that are identified) presented by the authors which show that their credibility for this work is lacking in veracity.


On top of this I will also present some critiques of the book which help to show that this book is nothing short of a confusing and poorly written work which has been praised in the western media and thus showing that even the supposed 'free-press' are nothing more than political mouth-pieces feeding the sheeple.  Here we might use the term 'Mushroom-Press', where people are kept in th dark and fed sh1t .........  


For brevity:  Jung Chang (JC), Jon Halliday (JH), Jung and Halliday (JH), Mao: The Unknown Story (MUS), Edgar Snow (ES), Red Star over China (RSC).


More to follow .........


Edited to rectify an invalid clause ......
What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left  -   Oscar Levant

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Post time 2012-7-23 23:47:41 |Display all floors
This post was edited by expatter at 2012-7-23 23:48

Continued:

From the very start of the book it kicks off with the sensational rhetorical device of ’70 million deaths in peace-time more than any other 20th century-leader’, so obviously they never thought about the ‘Young Turks’ and the 1.5 million Armenians, we are fed nothing new until we get incredibly as far as p:8 where Mao’s father  marries his 14 year old son Mao to his 18 year-old niece.

Even MUS tells us that Mao only did this so he could get back to education and that the marriage was never consummated and they did not live together. They were strangers, yet JH posit that Mao was strikingly dismissive when mentioning this first wife who died in 1910.

“But I never lived with her …..I do not consider her my wife ………..and have given little thought to her”. RSC

JH state that Mao gave no hint that she was not still alive, (to ES) and in fact Woman Luo had died in 1910, just over a year into their marriage.

Here we are led to believe that if you marry someone even if you do not know them and never lived with them then at least one should mention their full history even if you were not around or had no interest in them or even contact with your family for years. In addition, it is pure supposition to suggest that this is ‘strikingly dismissive’.  Moreover, Mao apparently tells ES that he was fourteen and she was twenty and JH present this amazing piece of evidence as if it portrays Mao as a liar rather than one who uses the information as anecdotal unimportant packaging. Many sources date the marriage as 1907 and 1908 and 1909. Woman Luo was born in 1899 and died in 1910. I make that 21 years old and JH tell us about death after just one year of marriage, so by their own reckoning she was 20 or so. This is badly botched as Mao was born 1893 and Luo 1899 which is four years difference.

JH do tell us however, that Mao was vehemently opposed to arranged marriages in that nine years later he took the time to vilify this institution in writing, and therefore one might assume that Mao was shocked at this type of arrangement.

On p.9 JH tell us fact at Mao’s eagerness for education (without applause) and by p.10 they start to add their own propaganda into quotations which is something unheard of in any academic notational scheme.

By JH we are told that Mao was not interested in peasants and then given the quotation. “My student Mao Tse-tung said that  ………  his clan …….are mostly peasants, and (Added by JH) it is easy for them to get rich’.”

It easy for them to get rich !!!!!!!  

And by what stretch of the imagination did JH arrive at this first added snippet for the super dumb readers to discover. Instead of academically allowing readers to make their own decision, JH very kindly here tell them what to think. Unbelievable!!

Page 10 and 11 then go on to make supposition that a friend of Mao had made a written comment on the starving poor (Not caused by Mao), and that Mao didn’t.  Or could it be that if there is not a written record by Mao that proves he didn’t care about the poor. JH round chapter (1) with, ‘Mao’s peasant background did not imbue him with idealism about improving the lot of the Chinese peasant’.

This is just pure speculation and not based on anything of any value and clearly not worthy of a serious author on history, but rather fodder for the willingly led.

It is at this early stage JH have already set the stage with speculation and suitably added comment to bias the reader to an opinion which will swill throughout this poor tome and they will also try to impress us with the title: ‘Mao: The Unknown Story’, of which even the title is anomalous as there is nothing fresh or unknown in the book other than the speculative and biased comments which JH frequently add in almost comedic style.


What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left  -   Oscar Levant

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Post time 2012-7-24 00:15:02 |Display all floors
Continuation:

In chapter 2 we are told that in 1913 Mao had deep in-depth discussion with numerous young friends about politics and encountered Marxism for the first time. He travelled around the countryside and slept under the stars with friends and discussed philosophy. In a startling revelation about the deeply academic ‘bookworm’ Mao we have been presented with thus far Mao is quoted as giving out the idea that p:15 all poetry after the Tang and Sung poetry should be burnt. From this JH are ably to soundly establish that even at this early stage in Mao’s life that this would typify the destruction of all Chinese culture in the future.

Even Mao’s morals were taking shape whilst discussing philosophy and according to JH, this is further backed up because the young Mao penned ideas in the margins of a book he was reading. JH now wax lyrical with ‘Mao did not believe in anything unless he could benefit …’, …’Mao did not care what he left behind ……. ‘. I find it strange that one can discover all that in a few side notes on a book and yet I am sure the reader of p:16 is salivating now at these unproven and speculative claims. Another claim from the authors is ‘Absolute selfishness and irresponsibility lay at the heart of Mao’s outlook’, and all this is learned from the scribblings in a margin by a teenager. Well I certainly hope that JH are not allowed to look at people’s notes when they are a teenager and claim to know someone from those notes enough to judge them so vividly in this way.  

By p:18 Mao is again quoted outside of context, ‘it did not matter if people died’ and this quote actually is insane in its application here as this is a discussion on the young Mao and needs no poorly incorrectly quoted line here from the 1950’s unless JH are trying to prop up an already asthenic opinion.

By p.20 Mao has a poorly paid job as a librarian (concurred in RSC), and we are also told that Mao advocated women’s right and wrote articles about this, and we are told this may have been due to his mother’ death even though we are told on p:8 these ideas started with his arranged marriage, so some confusion there about origin. We are further told Mao did not wish to see his mother who he loved dearly on her deathbed as he wanted to remember her as young. JH kindly inform us that is because: ‘Mao’s consideration was himself, not his mother nor did he hesitate to say so’. Of course they miss out free-will here plus lack of money and the difficulty to travel from Beijing to his home-town.

Never mind, if JH speculate this then it is good for setting character as decided by themselves. On p:22 we are told that Mao thought it a good idea that women should work. Therefore JH conclude he wanted women to be able to support themselves so that Mao or others did not have to support them and this showed that Mao also had no tenderness for women and in 1951 Mao penned: (women) Unite and take part in production …….. To be used according to JH as beasts of burden. Yet, emancipation had to be hard fought for in the west and is recognized as a noble human right, unless of course you are the authors of this book and believe that arranged marriages at any age and broken bound feet for women represent the good in man.

By p.22 the misogynist Mao is fully recognized by the reader based on the indisputable evidence introduced in this chapter. At p.22-23 JH inform us that Mao was not a founding member of the CCP and amazingly this can also be confirmed in RSC p.157 that Mao was a new Marxist but not a Communist and I fail to see how JH seek to make a sensation out of this. By late 1921 Mao was considered to be an insider of the CCP when he became a member of the provisional CCP Hunan Branch and a full member and also the fact that one of his greatest colleagues was Professor Chen a full member.

P.24 tells us that Mao delegates his duties in the bookshop he ran to so that he could participate more fully in party affairs and apparently this delegation is regarded by JH as: ‘An important trait emerged at this time – he had a gift for delegation chores, and spotting people to perform them.’  Here they imply that Mao is lazy yet strangely in the western world ‘delegation’ of tasks is regarded as people management and a skill, but here the inference is that Mao was ‘lazy’. Especially given the fact that the shop prospered and Mao spent his time garnering donations for the party. This chapter concludes with the idea that Mao was no fervent believer in communism and that he happened upon it by chance.

I am sure many gullible readers of the book would take the thoughts of JH and translate them as appropriately needed evidence and proof that Mao was a ‘devious slacker and opportunist’ even though nothing to little is presented from a factual basis other than the now expected and implied speculation.



What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left  -   Oscar Levant

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Post time 2012-7-24 00:27:32 |Display all floors
This post was edited by expatter at 2012-7-25 00:10
Ghosty Post time: 2012-7-24 00:19
Expatter

are you sure, you are not sure how this topic will develop in this forum ?????

Reported  ........

Again .......




What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left  -   Oscar Levant

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Post time 2012-7-24 00:29:48 |Display all floors
Expatter,

I'm surprised you even bother to spend time on a book that is full of nothing but lies. Even a badly written porn story book sold by street vendors carry more truth than that book.

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Post time 2012-7-24 00:39:57 |Display all floors
NE_Tigress Post time: 2012-7-24 00:29
Expatter,

I'm surprised you even bother to spend time on a book that is full of nothing but lies.  ...

I am not surprised that you are surprised

did you read the whole book?


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Post time 2012-7-24 00:44:28 |Display all floors
Ghosty Post time: 2012-7-24 00:39
I am not surprised that you are surprised

did you read the whole book?

My eyes and brain are reserved only for books that worth reading, not for craps. If you like to feed yours with them craps it's your business.  

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