Friday, September 26, 2014

Book Excerpt: Mao - The Unknown Story

Mao Zedong was one of the most central figures of the 20th century. From 1949, the year China became a communist nation, till his death in 1976, Mao ruled with an iron fist. His insane policies were responsible for the deaths of at least 4o lakh (estimates vary widely) of his countrymen. 

Today’s China pursues economies policies that are far removed from Mao’s narrow and myopic economic ideas. The self-absorbed Mao pursued economic policies that were self-serving and directed at massaging his bloated ego.

China tightly controls not just information but also the flow of information, especially if it relates to the party and its heavyweights – past and current, dead and alive.

There are very few books that relate the life and times of Mao in unbiased and unflattering terms. However, the seminal work of Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, the authors of Mao - The Unknown Story, is a brilliant exception. The duo depict the Communist strongman as an evil, Machiavellian, and power-hungry politician.

Title: Mao - The Unknown Story
Author: Jung Chang and Jon Halliday
Publisher: Vintage
Pages featured here: 517-525

Note: All copyrights/trademarks belong to the owners of the publication/author(s). It is not my intention to profit from their work. In fact, I just wish that the readers of this blog are encouraged to buy/read the works represented here. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Reads - Ugly Beauty + Chimps as Murderers

  • How the Islamic State works. (NYT)
  • India's soft-power advantage. (Diplomat)
  • Ugly truth behind global beauty industry. (AlJazeera)
  • Murder comes naturally to chimps. (BBC)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday Infographic - Independence Movements around the World

After weeks of high-voltage campaign from the Yes and No camps, Scotland has voted to remain part of the United Kingdom. But Scotland is not the only place where secessionist tendencies have taken root. Reuters blog has a terrific infographic on major separatist movements around the world. 

Click on the infographic for a larger view.