Hungry Ghosts: Mao's Secret Famine

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Free Press, 1996 - Political Science - 352 pages
"An accessible, masterly account of the greatest peacetime disaster of this century". -- The New York Times Book Review

In the late 1950S and early 1960s, the Chinese people suffered what may have been the worst famine in history. Over thirty million perished in a grain shortage brought on not by flood, drought, or infestation, but by the insanely irresponsible dictates of Chairman Mao Ze-dong's "Great Leap Forward", an attempt at utopian engineering gone horribly wrong.

Journalist Jasper Becker conducted hundreds of interviews and spent years immersed in painstaking detective work to produce Hungry Ghosts, the first full account of this dark chapter in Chinese history. In this horrific story of state-sponsored terror, cannibalism, torture, and murder, China's communist leadership boasted of record harvests and actually increased grain exports, while refusing imports and international assistance. With China's reclamation of Hong Kong now a fait accompli, removing the historical blinders ismore timely than ever. As reviewer Richard Bernstein wrote in the New York Times, "Mr. Becker's remarkable book...strikes a heavy blow against w

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User Review  - rayeula - LibraryThing

Jasper Becker in Hungry Ghosts: "North Korea seems in the grip of a death-cult psychosis that leaves it impervious to rational notions of self-interest" (339). Bruce Cumings on the kind of racism that ... Read full review

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User Review  - Lori Flatland - Goodreads

very good depiction of the cost of communism. so compelling and harrowing in it's illustration of the consequences of personality cults. reinforces the belief that humans are meant to have freedom of conscience about all. Read full review


The Year Zero
Land of Famine
Land of Famine

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