Hungry Ghosts: Mao's Secret Famine / Edition 1

Hungry Ghosts: Mao's Secret Famine / Edition 1

by Jasper Becker
     
 

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Chinese people suffered what may have been the worst famine in history. Over thirty million perished in a grain shortage brought on not by flood, drought, or infestation, but by the insanely irresponsible dictates of Chairman Mao Ze-dong's "Great Leap Forward," an attempt at utopian engineering gone horribly wrong.

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Overview

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Chinese people suffered what may have been the worst famine in history. Over thirty million perished in a grain shortage brought on not by flood, drought, or infestation, but by the insanely irresponsible dictates of Chairman Mao Ze-dong's "Great Leap Forward," an attempt at utopian engineering gone horribly wrong.

Journalist Jasper Becker conducted hundreds of interviews and spent years immersed in painstaking detective work to produce Hungry Ghosts, the first full account of this dark chapter in Chinese history. In this horrific story of state-sponsored terror, cannibalism, torture, and murder, China's communist leadership boasted of record harvests and actually increased grain exports, while refusing imports and international assistance. With China's reclamation of Hong Kong now a fait accompli, removing the historical blinders is more timely than ever. As reviewer Richard Bernstein wrote in the New York Times, "Mr. Becker's remarkable book...strikes a heavy blow against willed ignorance of what took place."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805056686
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
04/15/1998
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
743,715
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.92(d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Foreword
Acknowledgements
Map
The Year Zero1
1China: Land of Famine9
2Arise, Ye Prisoners of Starvation24
3The Soviet Famine37
4The First Collectivization, 1949-195847
5False Science, False Promises58
6Mao Ignores the Famine83
7An Overview of the Famine99
8Henan: A Catastrophe of Lies112
9Anhui: Let's Talk about Fengyang130
10The Other Provinces150
11The Panchen Lama's Letter166
12In the Prison Camps183
13The Anatomy of Hunger198
14Cannibalism211
15Life in the Cities220
16Liu Shaoqi Saves the Peasants235
17Mao's Failure and His Legacy255
18How Many Died?266
19How to Record the Annals of a Place?275
20The Western Failure287
Afterword307
Appendix: Biographical Sketches313
Notes317
Bibliography333
Index339

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