Mao — The Unknown Story depicts and documents Chairman Mao as the brutal monster he really was; how Mao desolated his own country and exterminated his own people, party cadres and impoverished peasants alike, even whole Red Army regiments….
by Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D
This superb, comprehensive and authoritative biography of Mao Tse-tung (1893-1976) as well as a history of China in the 20th century has a very appropriate subtitle — “The Unknown Story” — because much of the information here is not well known and is not found in other books on Mao or China. As such, the authors, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, Mao — The Unknown Story should be commended for their herculean task, vivid narration, and encyclopedic scholarship.
Among the many revelations, Mao — The Unknown Story depicts and documents Chairman Mao as the brutal monster he really was; how Mao desolated his own country and exterminated his own people, party cadres and impoverished peasants alike, even whole Red Army regiments….
A comparison of Stalin and Mao is instructive in understanding the enigmatic personality of Mao in all his savagery. Here was a man who was lazy, insubordinate, and disliked by all who knew him. Yet, he seized power by duplicity, forced his subordinates to kowtow to him in abject Mao submission; at times, he even defied Stalin and the Soviets who sustained him with money, arms, and assistance of all kind, and got away with it!
Mao killed 70 million of his own people, turned the Red Bases in which he ruled into impoverished wastelands, but with subterfuge, propaganda, and American moles in the FDR administration eventually came to rule all of Mainland China for twenty-seven disastrous years. And during all those years in power Mao never took a bath, only having massages, and rarely brushed his teeth! And yet he was respected as a communist statesman and head of state of the most populous nation on earth.
Mao was hated and feared by all his followers, including the subservient Chou En-lai, ruling by absolute terror, without any principles of government, strategic foresight or judicious planning for the betterment of his country. Despite the mythic heroics of the Long March, the Chinese Civil War or the Sino-Japanese War, the fact is Mao never inspired his troops. Mao was lazy and used subterfuge and deceit to seize power from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and obtained the title of “Chairman,” not from a plenum of the CCP, but from Joseph Stalin. Mao’s power wasn’t gained through merit or recognition from the Party at large, but by subterfuge, intimidation of, and threats to the individual members of his inner circle Politburo.
Mao ruled the Yenan Red Base for over a decade, before and during World War II. The province was devastated by mismanagement and plundering by the Red Army, turned into a wasteland under Mao’s communist dictatorship. Independent thought and action were punished. All goods and implements of labor were seized from the peasants to force them into compliance. Opium was cultivated and sold with all profits going to Mao’s communists while the people starved. Yenan’s population was decimated, impoverishment became rampant, much worse than under the Nationalist rule of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.
Mao’s Yenan Red Base was a government from hell, a prelude to what was to happen to the nation once the Chairman seized control of all of Mainland China. Mao sacrificed his family members for political ends. Wives, brothers, sons and daughters were left behind, deliberately abandoned to be shot by the Nationalists or die destitute in poor villages throughout China.
Mao betrayed whole communist armies, when they happened to be led by military rivals. Red soldiers were led to their deaths by irresponsible decisions or deliberately to be decimated based only on Mao’s maintenance of power and the elimination of competitors. The army of rival Chang Kuo-t’ao, the greatest and most successful army in the Long March (1934-35), was sent to the desolate northwest district to be deliberately betrayed and exterminated — thousands of soldiers buried alive, sacrificed by Mao for his own political ends. For Mao, supreme power was always paramount in all decisions.
“MOLES IN FDR ADMINSTRATION”
This book also describes in graphic detail how China was delivered to Mao Tse-tung with active Soviet military assistance in Northern China, as well as the tacit consent of Britain and the U.S., misled by such moles as Owen Lattimore and Lauchlin Currie in the FDR administration.
Little is known about Stalin attacking and ordering the Soviet Army to occupy Outer Mongolia, seizing portions and important ports in Manchuria, and expropriating the strategic Eastern China Railway.
The story of how Stalin helped Mao in the Civil War that ensued immediately after Japan’s surrender on August 15, 1945 had not been told before. The Russo-Mongolian Soviet army, 1.5 million strong, swept through and invaded all of Northern China across a 5,000 kilometer front, longer than the European front that stretched from the Baltic to the Adriatic Seas. Stalin ordered this army to continue to advance for several weeks after Japan’s surrender, helping Mao take control and giving him territories and large caches of arms left by the Japanese. These bases and supplies would boost Mao in the ensuing Civil War against Chiang Kai-shek. The occupied territories in northern China, inner Mongolia, and Manchuria were larger than those occupied by the Soviets in Eastern Europe.
Mao received the help he needed, even from the U.S., while Chiang Kai-shek was sidelined and betrayed. Little is known also about several top generals in Chiang’s Nationalist Army, whose treachery helped Mao gain power. These officers had been recruited by the CCP while receiving officers’ training at the Whampoa Military Academy near Canton; they had become “sleeper agents”; and at the proper moment — ten, twenty years later, during the Civil War of 1946-1949, betrayed the Generalissimo, supplying vital military information, having whole armies massacred deliberately, or surrendering them to Mao.
Moles in the FDR administration continued to act on the behalf of Mao and Stalin, and against the United States, by slandering Chiang Kai-shek and exulting Mao. Mao was supposed to have Peng Dehuai fIght the Japanese, while Chiang was not doing any fighting. The opposite was the truth. Except for one military campaign fought in 1940 by the Red Army Commander Peng Dehuai, who contravened Mao’s order not to engage the Japanese, the Red Army had done little against the Japanese, as Mao wanted to keep his army intact for his ultimate confrontation with Chiang.
One of Mao’s orders to his army was “retreat when the enemy advances,” which they did on almost all occasions. On the other hand, Chiang’s Nationalist Army fought all the major engagements of World War II, while the Reds retreated and only occupied territories left behind by the advancing Japanese. Chang and Halliday write: “In Burma, they [the Nationalists] put more Japanese out of action in one campaign than the entire Communist army had in eight years in the whole of China.” (p. 287)
Mao won the Civil War, not because he was beloved by the people or a better military strategist than Chiang, but simply because Mao was more ruthless and vicious than Chiang. And after the communist victory, how did Mao rule China as supreme leader? What were the historic events of communist China: the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution?
Despite the book’s size at 814 pages, the text is enthralling and reads in novelistic fashion with fast-paced, flowing narrative. Truly this is a magnificent book worth reading.
Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D. is Associate Editor in Chief and World Affairs Editor of Surgical Neurology International. He is Clinical Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery, ret.) and Adjunct Professor of Medical History (ret.), Mercer University School of Medicine. Dr. Faria is the author of Cuba in Revolution — Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002). Dr Faria has written numerous articles on Stalin, communism, and the Soviet Union, all posted at the author’s websites: http://www.haciendapub.com & http://www.drmiguelfaria.com
Copyright ©2014 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.
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