Mao Reading Response

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Mao Zedong Readings Response Paper

Being one of the most well-known characters of Chinese modern history, Mao Zedong has been constantly debated in both Western and Eastern worlds. Like all historic figures, Mao Zedong has been seen in different light: sometimes under glorification and reverence, and sometimes as a devil that dragged China into one of its darkest eras. These contradicting opinions can be easily seen in the assigned readings of this course. While Mao Zedong is generally praised for his military accomplishments during the overturning of the former government of the Kuomintang and the war against Japanese invasion, opinions differ when his ruling of China after 1949 comes into discussion. In some readings, he is most
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This condescending attitude continues throughout the article, ending only with complete denial of any noble intentions Mao might have had during his experiences as a revolutionist and political leader. The more formal reading that remains, “The China Reader,” sings quite a different tune that the first two readings. It is written in a most formal tone in comparison to the opinion-based style the other two reading were written in, and it seeks mainly in finding outside reasons for many of Mao Zedong’s decisions. “In addition to the above-mentioned immediate cause of Comrade Mao Zedong’s mistake in leadership, there are complex social and historical causes underlying the “Cultural Revolution,” which dragged on for as long as a decade.”(Schell & Shambaugh, 49) The article refers to Mao as a “Comrade”, and while it admits his “mistake in leadership”, it strives to explain the “complex social and historical causes” that are behind these alleged mistakes. Less radical than the Spence reading mentioned above, this reading’s view of Mao is definitely still even more positive than the position presented in the Schram reading. The readings assigned in this course have truly provided me with great factual information of Mao Zedong as a person. I have grown up with stories from my mother about general negative views on Mao Zedong, probably due to the suffering my grandparents and their parents

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