Mao Zedong Biography

He was born on December 26, 1893. Mao Zedong was the son of a wealthy farmer in Shaoshan, Hunan.

He had a Chinese nationalist and anti-imperialist outlook early in his life.

Mao later adopted Marxism–Leninism while working at Peking University. He became a founding member of the Communist Party of China (CPC), leading the Autumn Harvest Uprising in 1927.

During the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang (KMT) and the CPC, Mao helped to found the Chinese Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army, led the Jiangxi Soviet’s radical land policies, and ultimately became head of the CPC during the Long March.

Although the CPC temporarily allied with the KMT under the United Front during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945), China’s civil war resumed after Japan’s surrender and in 1949 Mao’s forces defeated the Nationalist government, which withdrew to Taiwan.

Mao Zedong Cold War

On October 1, 1949, Mao proclaimed the foundation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), a single-party state controlled by the CPC.

In the following years he solidified his control through land reforms and through a psychological victory in the Korean War, as well as through campaigns against landlords, people he termed “counter-revolutionaries”, and other perceived enemies of the state.

Later in 1957, he launched a campaign known as the Great Leap Forward that aimed to rapidly transform China’s economy from agrarian to industrial.

Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong

Soon this campaign led to the deadliest famine in history and the deaths of 20–45 million people between 1958 and 1962.

In 1966, Mao initiated the Cultural Revolution. He plan a program to remove “counter-revolutionary” elements in Chinese society which lasted 10 years.

Later a violent class struggle along with widespread destruction of cultural artifacts, and an unprecedented elevation of Mao’s cult of personality took place during the Revolution.

Later in 1972, Mao welcomed American President Richard Nixon in Beijing. This signal the start of a policy of opening China to the world.

After years of ill health, Mao suffered a series of heart attacks in 1976 and died at the age of 82. Soon Premier Hua Guofeng succeeded him as paramount leader. Party quickly sidelined him and made Deng Xiaoping as supreme leader.

Mao Zedong Cultural Revolution

The Cultural Revolution was a sociopolitical movement in China from 1966 until 1976.

The Mao launched movement on May 1966.  Soon he alleged that bourgeois elements had infiltrated the government and society at large, aiming to restore capitalism.

To eliminate his rivals within the Communist Party of China (CPC), Mao wanted to remove  revisionists through violent class struggle.

Soon China’s youth responded to Mao’s appeal by forming Red Guard groups around the country.

The movement spread into the military, urban workers, and the Communist Party leadership itself.

It resulted in widespread factional struggles in all walks of life. Later in the top leadership, it led to a mass purge of senior officials, most notably Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping. During the same period, Mao’s personality cult grew to immense proportions.

Mao Zedong Facts

He was the son of a wealthy farmer in Shaoshan, Hunan.

Mao Zedong enrolled and dropped out of the government-run Changsha Middle School, an economics school, a police academy, a soap-production school and a law school.

The Mao government eradicated both consumption and production of opium during the 1950s using unrestrained repression and social reform.

Mao first tasted mangoes in 1968 and describe them as a “spiritual time bomb”.

Later smoking may have played an important role in his declining health, for Mao was a heavy smoker during most of his adult life.

His policies caused the deaths of tens of millions of people in China during his 27-year reign, more than any other 20th-century leader; the number of people who died under his regime range from 40 million to as many as 70 million.

Mao Zedong Quotes

We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.

Enable every woman who can work to take her place on the labour front, under the principle of equal pay for equal work.

Mao Zedong Height

He was 175cm or 5’7” feet tall.

Mao Zedong Books

  • On Guerrilla Warfare published in 1937
  • On Practice published in 1937
  • Serve the People published in 1944
  • On Contradiction published in 1937
  • On Protracted War published in 1938
  • In Memory of Norman Bethune published in 1939
  • On New Democracy published in 1940
  • Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art published in 1942

Mao Zedong Mausoleum

Later Communist Party built mausoleum soon after Mao’s death on September 9, 1976. Soon party conducted groundbreaking ceremony on November 24, 1976. They completed the mausoleum on May 24, 1977.

Soon people throughout China were involved in the design and construction of the mausoleum. Over 700,000 people from different provinces, autonomous regions, and nationalities performed voluntary labour.

This highly popular attraction is located in the middle of Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

It stands on the previous site of the Gate of China, the southern (main) gate of the Imperial City during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The remains of the Great Helmsman, as he is sometimes known, are on display for public viewing.

Mao Zedong Little Red Book

Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung is a book of statements from speeches and writings by Mao Zedong, the former Chairman of the Communist Party of China, published from 1964 to about 1976 and widely distributed during the Cultural Revolution.

The most popular versions were printed in small sizes that could be easily carried and were bound in bright red covers, becoming commonly known in the West as the Little Red Book.

The Little Red Book has produced a wide array of sales and distribution figures.

Some sources claim that publisher distributed over 6.5 billion copies between 1966 and 1969 alone as well as “untold numbers of unofficial local reprints and unofficial translations.

Mao Zedong Thought

One of the pillars of the ideological complex that supports the People’s Republic, is based on the official writings of Mao.

Mao himself actively participated in the editing process of the first edition of his three-volume Selected Works. He was assisted by many others, presumably also by his exegist and chief propagandist Chen Boda.

In the process, as the famous Mao-scholar Stuart Schram has concluded, the wording of the texts was altered, passages were deleted or altered, and belated additions were inserted, thus making it extremely difficult to assume that even a single sentence of the printed version was identical to the original without recourse to what Mao had originally written.

A fourth volume, covering the period 1945-1949, was published in 1960.

As the personality cult gathered steam, and political conflicts became more frequent and acute, a clear need was felt for more recent writings of the Chairman.

Early in the Cultural Revolution, the Party Central Committee therefore decided to edit further volumes of the Selected Works. Zhou Enlai and Kang Sheng were given the task by Mao in 1969 to start the work needed for the compilation of a Volume V.

Mao Zedong Wife

Mao Zedong had four wives who gave birth to a total of 10 children. They were:

  1. Luo Yixiu (October 20, 1889 – 1910) of Shaoshan: married 1907 to 1910
  2. Yang Kaihui (1901–1930) of Changsha: married 1921 to 1927, executed by the KMT in 1930; mother to Mao Anying, Mao Anqing, and Mao Anlong
  3. He Zizhen (1910–1984) of Jiangxi: married May 1928 to 1939; mother to Mao Anhong, Li Min, and four other children
  4. Jiang Qing (1914–1991), married 1939 until Mao’s death; mother to Li Na


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