Monday, May 14, 2007

Educational, but Depressing

Haven't posted in more than a week again, but I have been reading. Currently in bed with me at night is Mao: The Unknown Story. It is one of the most unrelentingly depressing books I've ever read. Now, I don't know as much as I should about communism. But I don't think what Mao was doing had anything to do with communism.

Mao was easily more evil than Hitler and Stalin combined. He seems to have been a complete sociopath who cared only about his own comfort. He sacrificed millions of his own countrymen to amass personal power. Seriously, I haven't read one good thing about him yet, and I'm more than halfway done with the book. I haven't even come to the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The author's parents were killed in the Cultural Revolution, so there may be some bias there. But it appears to be well-researched with ample sources. I'm waiting until I'm done with the book to read some reviews (I generally like to make up my own mind before reading reviews).

I suppose I'm getting a better background in world history. But I may have to cheat on Mao with something with no literary value whatsoever. I can't take this much longer.


AngryMan said...

If you want to learn more about communism, start with a book about the industrial revolution in Germany and throughout Europe. Before anyone can really understand communism and socialism, they need to understand the conditions of that time period as that is what led to its development.
Oh, and if you think that Mao was evil, read about Pol Pot and what he did in Cambodia. SICK.

Tara said...

Hello - I don't know if I'd be able to tackle an entire book about Mao. The author's other book, Wild Swans was very educational as well, and is autobiographical. Have your read it?

I Buy Books said...

AngryMan -- Thanks -- I actually have a good friend who's a labor historian, so he's getting a lot of questions lately. By the way, I love your avatar. I think I need to add The Prisoner to my Netflix queue again.

Tara -- Thanks for the tip; I hadn't heard about her other book.

AngryMan said...

I Buy Books:
Glad to hear you've got a labor historian friend -- there are a lot of good stories about the labor movement that will make you vomit. Read up on Big Bill Haywood and the IWW, especially his bogus murder prosecution. Really cool/sick stuff.

acquisitionist said...

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