The Private Life of Chairman Mao

The Private Life of Chairman Mao

4.2 10
by Li Zhi-Sui, Li Zhisui
     
 

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From 1954 until Mao Zedong's death 22 years later. Dr. Li Zhisui was the Chinese ruler's personal physician. For most of these years, Mao was in excellent health; thus he and the doctor had time to discuss political and personal matters. Dr. Li recorded many of these conversations in his diaries, as well as in his memory. In this book, Dr. Li vividly reconstructs

Overview

From 1954 until Mao Zedong's death 22 years later. Dr. Li Zhisui was the Chinese ruler's personal physician. For most of these years, Mao was in excellent health; thus he and the doctor had time to discuss political and personal matters. Dr. Li recorded many of these conversations in his diaries, as well as in his memory. In this book, Dr. Li vividly reconstructs his extraordinary time with Chairman Mao. of illustrations.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679764434
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1996
Pages:
736
Sales rank:
271,882
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.19(h) x 1.62(d)

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The Private Life of Chairman Mao 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An Interesting Episode in Dr. Li¿s memoirs The Private Life of Chairman Mao The book of The Private Life of Chairman Mao was Dr. Li¿s memoirs. Dr. Li said that his book was not a biography of Chairman Mao, nor a history of the Chinese Communist Party. Instead his book is of his own survival experience as Chairman Mao¿s personal physician for 22 years, and about China under Communist rule. There are a lot of biographies about Chairman Mao. All read like a cartoon comedy, very boring. But Dr. Li¿s memoir is like a survival thriller movie. It is great, interesting, exciting and entertaining. Dr. Li¿s successful survival experience is a legendary and miraculous tale. From beginning to the end, it kept me on the edge of my chair, breathless until I finished the last page. The book is written in a humorous way. Sometimes, it was funny, but combined with spine tingling thrills. Many times, while Dr. Li was working for Chairman Mao, Dr. Li confronted great peril. But each time, an invisible force made it a funny, interesting and unexpected end. Dr. Li had never got hurt from the vicious politics. Chairman Mao did not mind that Dr. Li was a Christian, and a member of the intelligence agency of the previous regime. This was the myth of Dr. Li¿s miracle story. There is a very interesting scenario in the book. One day, Chairman Mao wanted to watch some Chinese local operas, and asked Dr. Li to recommend a local opera to him. Dr. Li recalled when he was a little boy he watched a local opera named Lee Hui Niang. Dr. Li had only a little vague impression about the play. He remembered there were a lot of ghosts in the play and very entertaining. He thought Chairman Mao would like it, and recommended it to him. Chairman Mao pleasingly accepted Dr. Li¿s recommendation, and notified his chief commanding officer of guards to arrange the performance. Several days later, the performance was ready. Chairman Mao and his entourage went to watch the play. They were warmly welcome with the thunderous applause from the audience when they walked in the theatre. Then, they sat down. Dr. Li sat next to Chairman Mao with excitement. After a short intermission, the theatre was silenced and the performance was started. At the beginning, Chairman Mao was pleased and excited by the play. His face was glowing with smiling. But, when the performance was going to the half of the play, suddenly, Chairman Mao¿s face changed to be very ghastly. His eyebrow was tightened heavily. His eyes glared furious flame at the stage. The pleased and excited smile on his face at the beginning was completely gone. A great shock hit Dr. Li¿s heart badly. Dr. Li thought the glare on Chairman Mao¿s face was an evil omen for him. Because he recommended the play to Chairman Mao, he would get big trouble from his recommendation. Later, Chairman Mao looked worse, and suddenly stood up walking out of the theatre. Dr. Li thought: too bad, big trouble was going to happen to him. He followed Chairman Mao out of the theatre, sat in the car, and went back to Chairman Mao¿s courtyard. Chairman Mao did not talk to Dr. Li a word on the way home. Dr. Li thought that his recommendation was going to be a big disaster for him. The second day, Chairman Mao¿s wife called Dr. Li and the chief commanding officer of guards to see her. She asked them who recommended that play to Chairman Mao. Both of Dr. Li and the chief commanding officer of guards said they didn¿t know whose recommendation it was. Then Chairman Mao¿s wife said that she guessed Dr. Li did the recommendation. Both Dr. Li and the chief commanding officer of guards felt spine tingling. But they did not lose their mind and kept calm. Dr. Li denied that he did the recommendation. The chief commanding officer of guards said that he did not hear the recommendation from Dr. Li. He said when Chairman Mao read the party newspaper, People¿s Daily found an article to recommend that play. So Chairman Mao himself said he wanted to
Guest More than 1 year ago
While reading this book, I constantly had to remember that the story was about Chairman Mao and not in fact about the doctor. Yet I found his way of writing unique and translated very well. He gave to the readers a side of the greatest leader of China that nobody really knew. This really is the utmost privacy of Mao, the real him instead of the political image of him. Not only does the biography tell you about his everyday life but it gives the readers knowledge of what was happening within China at the time, such as relationship between China and the Soviet Union. If one were writing a paper on Mao, this would be the book to consult for research, it gives you all sides of what is needed for an excellent book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tho banned in China, I strongly feel the day is nigh where it will be included in tha nation's school syllabus. Chaiman Mao may have his personal shortcomings but who is to proclaim him/herself a perfect person. Just look at what he has done for China. Up to primary school was his education level but a great stateman he was. Without him, we might have North China, South China and Communist China warring at each other as you read this. With missiles ready to be fired on Iraqi soil, we do not need another conflict. China has been a relative peaceful country. Chairman Mao has made peace a permanent feature. Friends and foes should read it objectively. Otherwise, keep your opinions under your bed and speak of no further evil.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Nicoli...m
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im so sorry parents took inernet password from me and now i can only talk in school. Ill get your sis to put you on. Until then. I love you ;(. Please tell what you were gonna say.
willyvan More than 1 year ago
This vile piece of slander is demolished in a publication rightly called 'Manufacturing history: sex, lies and Random House's memoirs of Mao's physician', edited by Q. M. DeBorja and Xu L. Dong, published by the China Study Group. As Lin Ke, one of Mao's secretaries, wrote, “The entire work [The private life of Chairman Mao] is a piece of anticommunist and anti-Mao propaganda. Any research work done on Mao Zedong or the history of the People’s Republic of China, if based on the fabricated accounts and wild allegations of Dr. Li, is bound to be biased and unscientific, embarking on a path that moves away from historical facts. Moreover, it may lead to errors of great historical import.” If you want a truthful account, try Quan Yanchi's book, Life at Mao's side.