Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung, and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution. He was the architect and founding father of the People's Republic of China (PRC).
Mao was born on 26 December 1893 into a peasant family in Shaoshan, in Hunan province, central China. After training as a teacher, he travelled to Beijing where he worked in the University Library. It was during this time that he began to read Marxist literature.
In 1921, he co-founded the Chinese Communist Party. Mao gave a geographic slant to Marxism as he felt that within an Asiatic society, communists had to concentrate on the countryside rather than the industrial towns. In reality, this was a logical belief as China had very little industry but many millions involved with agriculture.
After the communist victory over Chiang Kai-shek in 1949, and the establishment of the People's Republic of China, Mao's position was immeasurably strengthened. Despite all that the Chinese people had endured, it seems not to have been too hard for Mao to persuade them of the visionary force and practical need for the Great Leap Forward of the late 1950s.
Surely Mao's simple words reverberate in their ears: As long as you are not afraid, you won't sink.
He developed a small but strong army of guerilla fighters, and directed the torture and execution of any dissidents who defied party law.
Efforts were made—by the United States in particular—to establish a coalition government, but China slid into a bloody civil war. On October 1, 1949, in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, Mao announced the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.
There continue to be disagreements on Mao's legacy. Some historians claim that Mao Zedong was a dictator comparable to Hitler and Stalin, with a death toll surpassing both.
It's been nearly 35 years since the death of Chairman Mao, and the official verdict is that Mao was 70 percent right and 30 percent wrong. That assessment is controversial, given the tens of millions of deaths Mao caused through economic mismanagement and political terror.
So between 1934 and '35, 80,000 Communist soldiers and civilians walked 6,000 miles across China, so they would be in a secure position to receive arms and supplies. Mao, supposedly the hero of the Long March, slogging along with everybody else, in fact, was carried.
The celebration of how far it's come and how fast, the Beijing skyline proof that Mao Tse Tung's determination to make China a superpower is coming to pass.
"Industry must therefore be the main economic foundation of the New Democracy. Only an industrial society can be a fully democratic society. But to develop industry, the land problem must first be solved. Without a revolution against the feudal landlord system it is impossible to develop capitalism, as the course of events in Western counties many years ago has shown quite clearly.
The Little Red Book, more properly known as ‘The Quotations of Mao Zedong’, is the world’s second most published book. It’s estimated that around 900million copies have been printed.
At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over these four years
Mao urged students and other young people to join the Red Guards, who in turn shut down schools, churches, temples and museums and tortured or killed academics and other authority figures who were viewed as capitalists and anti-revolutionaries. The Cultural Revolution resulted in widespread chaos and civil unrest.