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Mao Zedong

Mao is regarded as one of the most influential figures in world history, and named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century.

What is the life story of Mao Zedong?

Mao Zedong, the son of a peasant farmer, was born in Chaochan, China, in 1893. He became a Marxist while working as a library assistant at Peking University and served in the revolutionary army during the 1911 Chinese Revolution.

Inspired by the Russian Revolution, ,the Chinese Communist Party was established in Shanghai by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao in June 1921. Over the next few years Mao, Zhu De and Zhou Enlai adapted the ideas of Lenin who had successfully achieved a revolution in Russia. Mao worked as a Kuomintang political organizer in Shanghai. In October 1934 Mao, Lin Biao, Zhu De, and some 100,000 men and their dependents headed west through mountainous areas because the nationalists imposed a blockade. In 1935, Mao leads marchers covered about the 8,000-mile Long March. During the Second World War Mao's well-organized guerrilla forces were well led by Zhu De and Lin Biao. Mao as a leader of communists announced the establishment of People's Republic of China on 1st October, 1949.

Mao Zedong

In 1958 Mao announced the Great Leap Forward, an attempt to increase agricultural and industrial production. In 1962 Mao's reform program came to an end and the country resorted to a more traditional form of economic production. As a result of the failure on the Great Leap Forward, Mao retired from the post of chairman of the People's Republic of China. Mao became openly involved in politics in 1966 when together with Lin Biao he initiated the Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution came to an end when the Gang of Four: Jiang Qing (Mao's fourth wife), Wang Hongwen, Yao Wenyuan and Zhange Chungqiaoin broke up in 1977. In 1978, Mao died with critique and praises.

Mao Zedong’s writings.
calligraphy

Mao was a prolific writer of political and philosophical literature. Mao is the attributed author of Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, known in the West as the "Little Red Book" and in Cultural-revolution China as the "Red Treasure Book": this is a collection of short extracts from his speeches and articles, edited by Lin Biao and ordered topically. Mao wrote several other philosophical treatises, both before and after he assumed power. These include:

n Guerrilla Warfare; 1937

  • On Practice; 1937
  • On Contradiction; 1937

On Protracted War; 1938

  • In Memory of Norman Bethune; 1939
  • On New Democracy; 1940
  • Talks at the Yan'an Forum on Literature and Art; 1942
  • Serve the People; 1944
  • The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains; 1945
  • On the Correct Handling of the Contradictions Among the People; 1957

What is Mao Zedong’s poetry?

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All of Mao's poems are in the traditional Chinese verse style. Though Mao may not be one of the best Chinese poets, his poems are generally considered well-written and of high literary quality.

As did most Chinese intellectuals of his generation, Mao received rigorous education in Chinese classical literature, and thus his skill in poetry is of little surprise. His style was deeply influenced by the great Tang Dynasty poets Li Bai and Li He. He is considered to be a romantic poet, in contrast to the realist poets represented by Du Fu.

Many of Mao's poems are still very popular in China. They are frequently quoted in popular culture, literature and daily conversations. Some of his most well-known poems are "Changsha" (1925), "The Double Ninth" (1929.10), "Loushan Pass" (1935), "The Long March" (1935), "Snow" (1936.02), "The PLA Captures Nanjing" (1949.04), "Reply to Li Shuyi" (1957.05.11), and "Ode to the Plum Blossom" (1961.12). General consensus is that his pre-1949 works are superior.

The Long March at the patten of Qilu (one poetry of Mao Zedong)
The Red Army fears not the trials of the Long March, Holding light ten thousand crags and torrents. The Five Ridges wind like gentle ripples, And the majestic Wumeng roll by, globules of clay. Warm the steep cliffs lapped by the water of Jinsha, Cold the iron chains spanning the Dadu River. Min Mountain's thousand li of snow joyously crossed, The three Armies march on, each face glowing. 
Actually, the Long March was done by three CPC armies separately. One was Mao's 1st Red Army from Jiangxi Soviet, another was Zhang Guotao's 4th Red Army from Hubei soviet, the third one was He Long's 2nd Red Army from west part of Hubei. Here, Mao was glad all three Red Armies were together.

What is the Long March?

This poem was written towards the end of 1935 when the Long March was almost finished. There Mao listed some places Red Army had travelled to. Five Ridges and Wumeng are both big mountains in southwestern China, Jinsha  which is an another name for certain parts of Yangtze River. Dadu River is at the west part of Sichuan, here in a heroic fight, 22 volunteers carried out a suicide attack on the KMT garrison across the iron-chained Luding Bridge and saved the Red Army from being destroyed.

Tianmen Square

The Min Mountains are a mountain range at the Sichuan-Gansu border area, is already close to the end of Long March's route. To get rid of the pursuing KMT army, the Red Army had to climb over its 13000 foot peak and many people froze to death.

Mao, the Leader of the Communist Party of China, is now remembered not only by his political achievements but also his talent on literature. Though he made some mistakes, such as the Culture Reform, he is still admired by all Chinese, even some foreigners. Mao Zedong also was honored as the 100 most impactive figures in 20th Century.

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