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MAO A NECESSARY EVIL The lecture that Philip Short gave on his book Mao A Necessary Evil was a very interesting insight into the life of the controversial leader of China He started by talking about Maos early life growing up in central China There was very little outside influence there and life was lived the same way it had for hundreds of years His tiny village did not even have electricity or newspapers What he did receive there was a Confusion education which would be the bedrock of his thinking throughout his life Mao became a Marxist at the age of 27 and he had the advantage of relating these beliefs to the Chinese people through his knowledge and belief in Confucianism A huge civil war was underway in China started in 1912 when Mao took on Marxism In 1911 revolutionaries overthrew the emperor and the civil war that came after raged on for decades The war was terribly bloody during one outbreak of fighting over 300000 people lost their lives Through all this blood however it was also a very exhilarating time for China as Short put it This is because the revolution opened the doors for outsiders especially from Japan and Western nations Violence continued in China but in the 1940s it was not from each other for a while because the Japanese invaded them during World War II The civil war finally ceased in 1949 when the anti Communists were forced to Taiwan If all of this fighting was not enough China also got involved in the Korean War because of pressure from Stalin The next few years are marked by Maos attempts for the Chinese to catch up to the West During one of his movements the Great Leap Forward 25 million people died because of famine In another movement The Cultural Revolution 1 million died These blunders are blamed on Mao as well they should be but
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