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Mao Zedong based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This non-fiction book from the Wicked History series tries to get kids to learn about world events by triggering their sense of horrified fascination. Targeted at children of an age to be learning about the Holocaust, it recounts the horrific events of Mao Zedong's tenure as leader of the People's Republic of China with a solemnly condemning narrative. Perhaps surprisingly, the author does not shy away from the U.S.'s involvement in propping up Mao's government during the 70s, when he began to open up to the West. She recounts heinous acts perpetrated by Europe and the Japanese as well. The only people that Heuston really seems comfortable siding with are the Chinese peasants, who get exploited by just about everyone. With chapter headings like "Red Guards: Mao unleashes an army of angry youths on the rest of the country", one might expect a more lurid and exploitative treatment of the subject matter, but Heuston keeps the worst of the violence under control. She even tries to give the story a happy ending, recounting that though Mao died of old age in his bed, he did so without the popular support he had enjoyed earlier in his career. Using only menacing red and black ink, this book is marketed to kids looking to gain an understanding of the brutal world they have hitherto been sheltered from. Sometimes disturbing, often uncomfortable, this book is a good way for inquiring minds to learn about the dark side of human nature. Recommended for grades 5-8, depending on maturity.