The first full-length biography of today's undisputed first man in China, written by the author of Forever China Sun Yat-Sen etc. Objective but not blind to the issues, Payne uses his long knowledge of China and its people to analyze the sources of Chinese communism, tap roots going back to Confucius, as well as outgrowth of three great revolutions in the last 100 years. He explores, too, Mao's relatively late adherence to Marxism, and sees Communism's present strength as due to internal delay and confusion within the Kuomintang, as much as to the Red Army's strength. Mao, peasant, scholar, poet, interpreted the pulse of the people and the time accurately and used his intellectual and military powers accordingly. Chiang, the aristocrat (on his own findings) wrestled with gigantic shadows, confused as to actualities, hopelessly removed from the true source of strength, the people he ruled. The author does not venture prophecies of Red China's future international role; his concern is with Mao, who- he feels- will be ruler so long as he lives, and with internal conditions. He feels that of necessity he is using and is used by Moscow at present, but sees him as no Chinese Tito. A revealing book, beautifully written, well documented (much of Mao's own writing is incorporated), scholarly.