Download Mao: The Unknown Story Audiobook

Mao: The Unknown Story Audiobook, by Jung Chang Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jon Halliday, Jung Chang Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2006 ISBN: 9781415930076
3.00062383031815 out of 53.00062383031815 out of 53.00062383031815 out of 53.00062383031815 out of 53.00062383031815 out of 5 3.00 (3,206 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $32.86 Add to Cart
— or —
BEST PRICE!
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

“Ever since the spectacular success of Chang’s Wild Swans we have waited impatiently for her to complete with her husband this monumental study of China’s most notorious modern leader. The expectation has been that she would rewrite modern Chinese history. The wait has been worthwhile and the expectation justified. This is a bombshell of a book.”
–Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong, in The Times (London)

Based on a decade of research and on interviews with many of Mao’s close circle in China who have never talked before–and with virtually everyone outside China who had significant dealings with him–this is the most authoritative life of Mao ever written. It is full of startling revelations, exploding the myth of the Long March, and showing a completely unknown Mao: he was not driven by idealism or ideology; his intimate and intricate relationship with Stalin went back to the 1920s, ultimately bringing him to power; he welcomed Japanese occupation of much of China; and he schemed, poisoned and blackmailed to get his way. After Mao conquered China in 1949, his secret goal was to dominate the world. In chasing this dream he caused the deaths of 38 million people in the greatest famine in history. In all, well over 70 million Chinese perished under Mao’s rule–in peacetime.

Combining meticulous research with the story-telling style of Wild Swans, this biography offers a harrowing portrait of Mao’s ruthless accumulation of power through the exercise of terror: his first victims were the peasants, then the intellectuals and, finally, the inner circle of his own advisors. The reader enters the shadowy chambers of Mao’s court and eavesdrops on the drama in its hidden recesses. Mao’s character and the enormity of his behavior toward his wives, mistresses and children are unveiled for the first time.

This is an entirely fresh look at Mao in both content and approach. It will astonish historians and the general reader alike.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

BK_BKOT_000675

Quotes & Awards

  • "Jung Chang and Jon Halliday have not, in the whole of their narrative, a good word to say about Mao. In a normal biography, such an unequivocal denunciation would be both suspect and tedious. But the clear scholarship, and careful notes, of The Unknown Story provoke another reaction. Mao Tse-Tung's evil, undoubted and well-documented, is unequalled throughout modern history. Roy Hattersley, The Observer
  • "Ever since the spectacular success of Chang's Wild Swans we have waited impatiently for her to complete with her husband this monumental study of China's most notorious modern leader. The expectation has been that she would rewrite modern Chinese history. The wait has been worthwhile and the expectation justified. This is a bombshell of a book. Chris Patten, last British governor of Hong Kong, in The Times
  • A triumph. It is a mesmerising portrait of tyranny, degeneracy, mass murder and promiscuity, a barrage of revisionist bombshells, and a superb piece of research. Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Sunday Times
  • "Jung Chang and Jon Halliday enter a savage indictment drawing on a host of sources, including important Soviet ones, to blow away the miasma of deceit and ignorance which still shrouds Mao's life from many Western eyes...Jung Chang delivers a cry of anguish on behalf of all of those in her native land who, to this day, are still not free to speak of these things. Max Hastings, The Sunday Telegraph
  • “A magisterial work…This magnificent biography methodically demolishes every pillar of Mao’s claim to sympathy or legitimacy…A triumph.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Demonstrating the same pitilessness that they judge to be Mao's most formidable weapon, they unstitch the myths that sustained him in power for forty years and that continue to underpin China's regime…I suspect that when China comes to terms with its past this book will have played a role. Nicolas Shakespeare, Telegraph
  • The detail and documentation are awesome. The story that they tell, mesmerising in its horror, is the most powerful, compelling, and revealing political biography of modern times. Few books are destined to change history, but this one will. George Walden, Daily Mail
  • "decisive biography…they have investigated every aspect of his personal life and career, peeling back the layers of lies, myths, and what we used to think of as facts…what Chang and Halliday have done is immense and surpasses, as a biography, everything that has gone before. Jonathan Mirsky, The Independent, Saturday
  • written with the same deft hand that enlivened Ms. Chang's 1991 memoir, 'Wild Swans'… The Economist
  • Chang and Halliday cast new and revealing light on nearly every episode in Mao's tumultuous life…a stupendous work and one hopes that it will be brought before the Chinese people, who still claim to venerate the man and who have yet to come to terms with their own history… Michael Yahuda, The Guardian
  • “An atom bomb of a book.”

    Time

  • “Chilling…Impressive…An extremely compelling portrait of Mao that will still shock many.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “An important book in ways not envisaged…A work of unanswerable authority.”

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

  • “The most complete and assiduously researched biography of its subject yet published…No earlier work comes close to matching the density of detail here…The authors have performed brilliant historical detective work.”

    Atlantic Monthly

  • “Chang and Halliday cast new and revealing light on nearly every episode in Mao’s tumultuous life…A stupendous work and one hopes that it will be brought before the Chinese people, who still claim to venerate the man and who have yet to come to terms with their own history.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “Jung Chang and Jon Halliday have not, in the whole of their narrative, a good word to say about Mao. In a normal biography, such an unequivocal denunciation would be both suspect and tedious. But the clear scholarship, and careful notes, of The Unknown Story provoke another reaction. Mao Tse-Tung’s evil, undoubted and well-documented, is unequalled throughout modern history.”

    Observer (London)

  • “Ever since the spectacular success of Chang’s Wild Swans we have waited impatiently for her to complete with her husband this monumental study of China’s most notorious modern leader. The expectation has been that she would rewrite modern Chinese history. The wait has been worthwhile and the expectation justified. This is a bombshell of a book.”

    Times (London)

  • “Jung Chang and Jon Halliday enter a savage indictment drawing on a host of sources, including important Soviet ones, to blow away the miasma of deceit and ignorance which still shrouds Mao’s life from many Western eyes…Jung Chang delivers a cry of anguish on behalf of all of those in her native land who, to this day, are still not free to speak of these things.”

    Sunday Telegraph (London)

  • “A triumph. It is a mesmerizing portrait of tyranny, degeneracy, mass murder, and promiscuity, a barrage of revisionist bombshells, and a superb piece of research.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • “The detail and documentation are awesome. The story that they tell, mesmerizing in its horror, is the most powerful, compelling, and revealing political biography of modern times. Few books are destined to change history, but this one will.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “[A] decisive biography…They have investigated every aspect of his personal life and career, peeling back the layers of lies, myths, and what we used to think of as facts…What Chang and Halliday have done is immense and surpasses, as a biography, everything that has gone before.”

    Independent (London)

  • “Demonstrating the same pitilessness that they judge to be Mao’s most formidable weapon, they unstitch the myths that sustained him in power for forty years and that continue to underpin China’s regime…I suspect that when China comes to terms with its past this book will have played a role.”

    Telegraph (London)

  • “Written with the same deft hand that enlivened Ms. Chang’s 1991 memoir, Wild Swans.”

    Economist

  • One of the 2005 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • A New York Times bestseller

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ed | 10/21/2019

    " This book was an exceptional piece of history. Jung Chan who grew up in China and has lived in the U.K. since the 1970's, describes the real Mao - someone who was more of a schemer and political infighter than a visionary leader. Under the communists describes how Mao's policies led to death of millions of People. Even his successor Deng was treated brutally. It is quite the testament to China's national will that the country held things together. After you listen this book, you may agree with the line I read somewhere that said the greatest thing Mao did for China was to die. Since then it has been going up like a rocket ship, but the people paid a heavy price. There was not much information available to a those of us who lived in the West, but if you listen to this, which is exceptionally narrated, you will see just what was happening behind the Iron Curtain for decades and you'll understand some of the modern influences of an ancient culture. If you read this, I would also strongly suggest you read Jung Chan's autobiographical book, the Wild Swans. It is amazing "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 1/25/2014

    " This is very long and gets bogged down with political details at times, but for me it was very compelling. I think everyone should be required to learn about the atrocities that took place in Communist China. Who says it can't happen here???? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emilye | 1/8/2014

    " So far this is fascinating. It's crazy how much Russia had a hand in setting up a communists China. It's also interesting how much Mao changes his political opinions every time the wind plows in favor of something else. He is a master manipulator and almost entirely devoid of morals. Of course, 70 million people were murdered under his rule, so I guess the absence of morals is obvious to everyone now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 12/21/2013

    " Mao was more Tony Soprano than Karl Marx. The book comes off as a bit pedantic, but bottom line, Mao was responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths in China - many from internal violence, but even more from famine and fabricated war. He could have easily been a facist, a capitalist, or a jihadist. The guy just wanted power, and didn't care what he did. Definitely worth a read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy | 12/1/2013

    " It's been one of my little missions in life to encourage everyone to read Jung Chang's auto/biography Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China. After you've read that, read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 11/3/2013

    " Very engrossing, although it seemed to me that the author could have actually tried to paint Mao as an actual person, rather than as a robotic killing machine. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jana | 10/24/2013

    " Jung Chang wrote a beautiful story in Wild Swans, the biograpy of her own family through the Mao era, but this biography she has written of Mao Zedong is flawed in that she clearly lets her overwhelming hatred for what her family went through keep her from being an objective biographer. Chang paints Mao as a monster. He did fail as a leader, but he also did many good things for China. A historian--the role Chang is attempting to assume here--needs to look at all sides of these issues of power and place. That said, this is still a book worth reading, especially if you read it up against the solid historical texts of sinologists like Jonathan Spence or Patricia Ebrey. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jana | 10/18/2013

    " I learned about the life and times of Mao Tse Tung, who was responsible for the deaths of over 70 million people. As you read about the way he conducted himself and dealt with the people around him, it's hard to imagine why anyone would admire him as a philosopher, a leader, or as a human being. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jeff | 10/1/2013

    " worst book I ever read. The author was so biased. I will never read another book by her. She basically states that Mao was evil from his birth and neglects factors that may have contributed to his personality. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 9/19/2013

    " Huge book; hope I can persevere. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Graham | 8/24/2013

    " Good interesting read about a horrbile human being... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mugsymkelly | 6/30/2013

    " I had heard this was the best book on Mao and find Chinese history interesting (terrifying) since studying it in college. The book is long and I am skimming but it has been interesting so far. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff | 5/16/2013

    " 40 million dead -- the most killingest dictator of them all! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Randrussell | 3/22/2013

    " very interesting. this character is right in the same league as some of the other horrible, megalomeniacal dictators. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 2/12/2013

    " too bad it was so biased. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 7/25/2012

    " So, so, so detailed - the forest is hidden among the trees. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aaron | 6/24/2012

    " Outstanding biography of a man I previously knew nothing about. This guy was ruthless, crazy and incompetent. Hitler and Stalin ain't got shit on Mao! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jaloluyahoo.com | 5/4/2012

    " Amazing book...I knew so little about Mao before this book...this man was crazed killer with no real political thought other than power!...changed my view on Mao "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mikey | 4/20/2012

    " You must read this book. Positively captivating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 10/21/2011

    " More information than you want to know about a man who had duped billions of people into beleiving he was something more than a coward and a killer. He belongs in the Hitler/Stalin/Mussolini club, not on t-shirts. A disgrace of a human being. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 9/27/2011

    " I found this very interesting because it was written by a Chinese woman who lived in China throughout Mao's rule and the Cultural Revolution. Having left China in 1978, she was then able to look at China from the outside. The views expressed really go against popular Chinese thought. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vera | 8/12/2011

    " Impressive, unbelievable, an eye opener. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roar | 3/29/2011

    " Interesting book, but I am not sure if I will ever finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 3/26/2011

    " A very scary, very long, and very engrossing book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cath | 3/20/2011

    " I was ignorant until I read Jung Chang of this part of Chinese History.
    It is incredible how people can oppress one another. I am just thankfull that this books was published, the story told and that I live in a society where I have freedom to read what I want "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 3/16/2011

    " Mao was a beast. He truly formed the foundation for China's current super power status, although he killed millions of people in the process. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherry | 2/10/2011

    " Absolutely fascinating.

    A must read.

    Little did we know what was really going on in China. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alex | 2/6/2011

    " The book the book the book the boooook "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Eduardo | 1/11/2011

    " ruim! incrível como o rancor pode prejudicar toda uma história. mas nem a culpo por ser tão parcial. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathan | 12/9/2010

    " This is a very eye opening and sobering account of history's biggest mass murderer. China has a rich culture and a glorious past, here is my hope that they will return. A must read for any student of world history of the far east. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steven | 11/11/2010

    " a little tough to get going on ...just switched to the George Carlin autobio for something lighter. "

About the Author

Jung Chang, PhD, was born in Yibin, part of the Sichuan Province of China, where she worked as an assistant lecturer at Sichuan University. Eventually leaving China for England, she obtained a PhD in linguistics from York University, becoming the first person from the People’s Republic of China to receive a doctorate from a British university. She is now an award-winning author and biographer and lives in London.

About the Narrator

Anne Flosnik, a seasoned audiobook narrator, has over four hundred titles to her credit and several awards and distinctions, including AudioFile Earphones Awards, a USA Today Recommended Listening selection, an AudioFile “Best Narration of the Year” selection in 2009, and the American Library Association’s Special Services to Children Award. She has also been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. She is an award-winning British actress with lead credits on stage, on television, and in commercials and voice-overs.