Jonathan Spence´S Mao Zedong Essay

2021 words - 8 pages

Mao Zedong was a very influential man in history. He forever changed the face of Chinese politics and life as a whole. His communist views and efforts to modernize China still resonate in the country today. Jonathan Spence’s book titled Mao Zedong is a biography of the great Chinese leader. Spence aims to show how Mao evolved from a poor child in a small rural village, to the leader of a communist nation. The biography is an amazing story of a person’s self determination and the predictability of human nature. The book depicts how a persuasive voice can shape the minds of millions and of people. It also shows the power and strength that a movement in history can make. This biography tells an important part of world history-the communist takeover of China.
Jonathan Spence tells his readers of how Mao Zedong was a remarkable man to say the very least. He grew up a poor farm boy from a small rural town in Shaoshan, China. Mao was originally fated to be a farmer just as his father was. It was by chance that his young wife passed away and he was permitted to continue his education which he valued so greatly. Mao matured in a China that was undergoing a threat from foreign businesses and an unruly class of young people who wanted modernization. Throughout his school years and beyond Mao watched as the nation he lived in continued to change with the immense number of youth who began to westernize. Yet in classes he learned classical Chinese literature, poems, and history. Mao also attained a thorough knowledge of the modern and Western world. This great struggle between modern and classical Chinese is what can be attributed to most of the unrest in China during this time period. His education, determination and infectious personality are what elevated Mao to the status that he was able to reach. Though this greatly declined in Mao’s later years, in the beginning he was looked to by his people as the leader of the poor. He greatly wanted equality for the masses. Spence tells the tale of a great leader who soon grew crazy with power.
Mao’s perception of himself constantly changed as with anyone with age. Mao though came from a time of conflicting ideas for what was best for his struggling country. As a student he was haunted with the idea of Westernization. He attended a radical school which taught both classics and Western classes. These two subjects greatly conflicted with each other though and lead to confusion of the young man. Mao came from the world outside of the classroom, where he was a poor farmer with little knowledge of the outside world. At this time the biography says that he was not yet ready for the radicalism his teachers preached but instead still considered himself a monarchist (Spence 9). It seems fitting today that at this time Mao would believe in one man ruling over millions of people for the better of the people. At this time it is apparent Mao still believed himself to be farmer still, but with an education. He wanted what...

Find Another Essay On Jonathan Spence´s Mao Zedong

Mao Tse-tung's personal history and how he came to be powerful in China. To get a better grade than I and if you want footnotes please message me

751 words - 3 pages Mao Tse-tung and the Cultural Revolution in ChinaMao Tse-tung, Mao Zedong or Mou Dzŭ-doong was Chinese revolutionary and political leader. He was born on December 26, 1893 in a village in Hunan. His father was Mao Shunsheng, a well-doing peasant, and his mother's name was Wen Qimei. Mao attended middle school in Changsha, the capital of Hunan, and then he attended and graduated from the provincial teachers college (Hunan Normal School) in

Struggles of the Cultural Revolution in Bei Dao's "Notes from the City of the Sun"

1171 words - 5 pages rule of Mao Zedong. Bei Dao, born Zhao Zhen-kai, is an anti-revolutionary poet and one of the founders of a group known as the Misty Poets. The Misty Poets wrote poems that protested the Cultural Revolution led by Mao Zedong. Therefore, a lot of Bei Dao’s poems speak out against the Cultural Revolution and the restrictions that it placed on any form of art. Bei Dao’s poetry is categorized as “misty” because of the ambiguity in its references to Mao

Mao Zedong

1203 words - 5 pages Mao Zedong is a multi-talented figure that ‘found himself swept up in this excitement’, (11) of political madness. Mao is responsible for many of the political initiatives that transformed the face of China, which included land reform, collectivization of agriculture and the spread of medical services. The master behind the ‘Great Leap Forward’ campaign for rural development was the beginning of Mao’s failure as a leader in the forefront. On

Chairman Mao and Women's Rights in China

2998 words - 12 pages There is no denying that the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party under Chairman Mao Zedong changed the course of the history of China and shaped the China the world sees today. The amount of lives, cultural traditions, and differing intellectual thoughts that were lost and destroyed as he strove to meet his goals for the country can never be recovered or replaced. However, it had been asserted that one of the more positive effects of

Becoming Madame Mao”

838 words - 4 pages Anchee Min is a Chinese- American author who lives in San Francisco. She was born in 1957 in Shanghai during the communist rule of leader Mao Zedong. When Min was in elementary school, she was chosen to become the leader of the Red Guard, a student group who supported Mao`s ideas and carried out his orders without refuting it. She was brought up during the cultural revolutions and like many other children in China the first thing she heard and

To What Extent Did the Red Guards Control the Cultural Revolution

1936 words - 8 pages To what extent did the Red Guards control the Cultural Revolution?   Section A The Cultural Revolution in China started in 1966 and ended on Mao Zedong’s death in 1976, on September 9th. While headed by Mao Zedong (sometimes spelled Tse-Tung), otherwise known as Chairman Mao, the Cultural Revolution contained a powerful group who called themselves the Red Guard, student activists who killed, pillaged, and destroyed “Old Fours” for Zedong. One

Mao Zedong

1338 words - 5 pages Mao Zedong was born in was born in the village of Shaoshan on the 26th of December, 1893. He was the eldest child born to a prosperous peasant family. His family's wealth enabled him to attend school, and later he left for Changsha for more advanced schooling. Mao graduated from the First Provincial Normal School of Hunan in 1918. After graduation, Mao registered himself as a part-time student at Beijing University. While at the University, Mao

Chinese Revolution In Brief

643 words - 3 pages warlords, but in 1927 they tried to take over the Nationalist party with gruesome results. When the Communists attacked, Chiang Kai-shek and his army killed over 6,000 communists in the city of Guangzhou. With the Nationalist army on their heels, the Communists retreated to southern China, where a son of a prosperous peasant, Mao Zedong, gathered the Communists together and formed the Red Army. During the early 1930's Mao and the Red Army

Maoist Theory and Agrarian Socialism

1787 words - 8 pages , however led to a split with their Moscow counterparts. Essential to Maoism and in opposition to the Comintern, is guerrilla warfare tactics of which included a structured army organisation. This developed due to consecutive unsuccessful conflicts. Mao Zedong characterised his guerrilla warfare tactics as "when the enemy advances we retreat to avoid him, when the enemy stops we harass him, when the enemy is tired we attack him, and when the enemy

Mao's Success with Domestic Policies

3032 words - 12 pages the early 1950's Mao wanted to divide land which were owned by the Landlords to his peasants. Again the price paid in order to fulfil the Agrarian reform Law was very high, because of the hatred between the working class and the landlords over one million landlords were killed, and their land was divided to the working class. The amount of land received varied with the location of the land. The land given to the peasants was

What is the Relationship Between the Formation of a Modern Chinese Identity and the War of Resistance Against Japan?

2118 words - 8 pages reflected well the feelings of the youth: 30,000 students gathered to protest Japanese power and object to the governments treatment of student demonstrations (Spence, 2013, pp.383). In response to such anti-Japanese sentiment, the 1939 Nanjing prohibitions declared that any student anti-Japanese meetings were to be killed instantly (Lin, 1939, pp.377). Furthermore, the leaders of the anti-Japanese National Salvation Movement of the 1930's, which had

Similar Essays

Mao Zedong: The Man Who Shaped China

3064 words - 12 pages , Wikipedia. 9 Dec. 2006 Marrin, Albert. Mao Tse-Tun and His China. New York: Penguin Group, 1989.Poole, Frederick King. Mao Zedong. United States of America: Impact Biography, 1982.Short, Phillip. Mao: A Life. New York: Henry Holt, 2000.Spence, Jonathan. Mao Zedong. New York: Penguin Group, 1999.The People's Republic of China. 2004, Chaos. 10 Dec. 2006 Zedong Mao. 2005, Discover The Network. 9 Dec. 2006 Zhao Ziyang. 2005, Wikipedia. 30 Dec. 2006

Mao Zedong Essay

1454 words - 6 pages /history/historic_figures/mao_zedong.shtml. Spence, Jonathan D. “Mao Zedong.” TIME Magazine. April 13, 1998. http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,988161-1,00.html (Accessed November 13, 2013). Szczepanski, Kellie. “What was the Great Leap Forward?” About.com. Accessed November 27, 2013. http://asianhistory.about.com/od/asianhistoryfaqs/f/greatleapfaq.htm. Wong, Jan. Red China Blues. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1996.

Chaotic Period During The Cultural Revolution In China

2369 words - 9 pages -revolutionary (so called black) activities or tendencies. This might seem as the very definition of a society in a chaotic state, but it is interesting to discuss what is actually understood as chaos. The Red Guard movement, which was a major actor in the revolutionary activities during the Cultural Revolution., was created by Mao Zedong. Additionally the objectives and privileges the Red Guards had and enjoyed were largely supported or instituted by

Mao Zedong And The Chinese Genocide

2243 words - 9 pages of Genocide. Work CitedBooksCh'ên, Jerome. Mao and the Chinese Revolution. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965. Print.Karnow, Stanley. Mao and China: Inside China's Cultural Revolution. New York, N.Y: Penguin Books, 1984. Print.Rice, Edward E. Mao's Way. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972. Print.Spence, Jonathan D. Mao Zedong. New York, Viking: Penguin Books, 1999. Print.Articles from Scholarly Journals (Not Book