Mr. Feigon argues that the movements for which Mao is almost universally condemned today-the Great Leap Forward and especially the Cultural Revolution-were in many ways beneficial for the Chinese people. While not glossing over Mao's mistakes, he contends that the Chinese leader should be largely praised for many of his later efforts. In reevaluating Mao's contributions, this interpretive study reverses the curve of criticism. "Feigon performs a service by reclaiming the historical context of Mao's crazed era. He has written a concise work that forces the reader to recall the circumstances that abetted Mao's reign."-Far Eastern Economic Review.
Lee Feigon's earlier books, China Rising (on the Tiananmen Square uprising) and Demystifying Tibet, were widely praised for their authoritative presentation. Mr. Feigon is professor of East Asian Studies at Colby College, and lives in Waterville, Maine, and Winnetka, Illinois.