Asia

Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958 – 1962

An unprecedented, groundbreaking history of China’s Great Famine that recasts the era of Mao Zedong and the history of the People’s Republic of China.

“Between 1958 and 1962, China descended into hell. Mao Zedong threw his country into a frenzy with the Great Leap Forward, an attempt to catch up to and overtake Britain in less than 15 years The experiment ended in the greatest catastrophe the country had ever known, destroying tens of millions of lives.” […Learn More]

History

How to Be a Dictator: The Cult of Personality in the Twentieth Century

From the Samuel Johnson Prize-winning author of Mao’s Great Famine, a sweeping and timely study of twentieth-century dictators and the development of the modern cult of personality.

No dictator can rule through fear and violence alone. Naked power can be grabbed and held temporarily, but it never suffices in the long term. In the twentieth century, as new technologies allowed leaders to place their image and voice directly into their citizens’ homes, a new phenomenon appeared where dictators exploited the cult of personality to achieve the illusion of popular approval without ever having to resort to elections. […Learn More]