Extended Audio Sample

Download Mao: The Unknown Story Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Mao: The Unknown Story (Unabridged), by Jon Halliday, Jung Chang
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,205 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jon Halliday, Jung Chang Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Coming Soon! We're adding audiobooks daily and hope to make this one available for download very soon. Submit your vote below to let us know you really crave this title!
Vote this up! This audiobook has 8 votes

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 biography 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. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “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

  • “An atom bomb of a book.”


  • “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.”


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

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

  • > Show All
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations