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Chairman Mao devours his foes

Cannibalism is added to Maoism’s many other crimes in Frank Dikötter’s final searing volume of A People’s History

30 April 2016

9:00 AM

30 April 2016

9:00 AM

The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962–1976 Frank Dikötter

Bloomsbury, pp.382, £25, ISBN: 9781408856499

The Cowshed: Memories of the Cultural Revolution Ji Xianlin, translated by Chenxin Jiang

New York Review of Books, pp.188, £14.99, ISBN: 9781590179260

Frank Dikötter, professor of humanities at the University of Hong Kong and winner of the Samuel Johnson prize in 2011, is the author of many studies on China, most notably two on Mao’s dark rule. This new book completes the trilogy. The first volume, The Tragedy of Liberation, made plain, more exhaustively than previous accounts, that from the beginning of his time as Chairman, Mao was paranoid and murderous, and that Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping egged him on.

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'The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962–1976', £21.00 and 'The Cowshed: Memories of the Cultural Revolution', £12.49 are available from the Spectator Bookshop, Tel: 08430 600033. Jonathan Mirsky is a historian of China and a former East Asia editor of the Times.

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