THE MORNING DELUGE: Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese Revolution, 1893-1954 by Han Suyin

THE MORNING DELUGE: Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese Revolution, 1893-1954

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In a world of political ""ultra-lefts,"" ""sectarians,"" ""renegades,"" men with ""dark motives,"" and Comintern agents within the Chinese Communist Party, Mao Tse-tung, by dint of his ""humility"" and ""passion for Justice,"" seems to have steered a flawless course through the vast upheavals of 20th-century China. ""Because he had the eyes of love, because he is bone of the bone, flesh of the flesh of Chinese peasants and workers, he had that true greatness. . . . His creative genius has come from this constant return to the people, resisting all attempts to elevate himself above them."" With such thumping insistence on Mao's selflessness we are spared the usual ""Great Leader and Teacher"" variety of Chinese propaganda, but the result is the same: a biography which extols Mao's personal virtues, damns his enemies (Liu Shao-chi is the villain of the piece), and rewrites history to prove infallibility. Genuine ignorance of the politics of the Comintern prompts Suyin to blame Stalin for various blunders while he refuses to see Mao as a dedicated follower of the Russian's line of the ""bloc of four classes"" alliance with the Kuomintang, which almost destroyed the CCP in 1925-27, again after 1936, and during the Japanese offensive. Much is said about the immense suffering of the Chinese masses during the period, but this empathy is undercut by Suyin's adulation of Mao's save-the-day wisdom. Strictly for sentimentalists.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1972
Publisher: Little Brown