Mao Zedong

Mao has been worshipped and hated. As one of the greatest communist theoreticians, his theory of Marxist theory combined flexible pragmaticism and utopian ideals. At the height of his reign as chairman of the People's Republic of China, Mao had developed a personality cult. His face appeared on buttons worn by the people. His little red book was quoted by everyone. He ruled China as a dictator for almost 40 years.

Mao Zedong was born on December 26, 1983 to peasant farmers in Shao Shan, in the Hunan province. He turned to Marxism while attending Beijing University. In 1921, he attended the first congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and two years later, in 1923, he was elected to its central committee. After the death of Sun Yat-sen in 1925, Chiang Kaishek led the Kou Min Tang (KMT; Nationalist Party) and carried out massacres of the communists. Mao survived, and in 1934, he led the long march, consolidating his position as chairman of the party. In 1937, the CCP allied with the Kuo Min Tang to defeat the Japanese. After the KMT defeated Japan, a civil war ensued.

In 1949, Mao established the People's Republic of China, with himself as the first chairman. In an attempt to industrialize China, he instituted the Great Leap Foward in 1958. It failed and Mao temporarily withdrew from the public eye. By 1965, Mao felt that he was losing control. To consolidate his power, he set off the Cultural Revolution. Many leaders were removed from power and many people died. It continued until his death in 1976.

Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-tung