Mao and Snow

December 3, 2012

During one of our trips to Shanghai, China, my wife and I went to see a film called Mao Zedong and Edgar Snow.

Edgar Snow (1905 – 1972) was an American journalist known for his books and articles on Communism in China and the Chinese Communist revolution. He is believed to be the first Western journalist to interview Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong, and is best known for Red Star Over China (1937) an account of the Chinese Communist movement from its foundation until the late 1930s.

The film was in Mandarin and wasn’t subtitled, so I had to watch carefully to understand what was going on. I Googled the move and found little about it on the Internet.

However, I discovered that Edgar Snow’s wife threatened to sue China if the movie was released but that didn’t stop the Chinese.

There’s no doubt that Mao had to have charisma to lead so many men in battle for so many years to win the civil war.


Edgar Snow and Mao

However, Mao changed after he became a modern emperor, and the power corrupted him. The evidence—the results of the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution and the purges that killed so many.

There was a positive side too.  Mao’s success in the CCP’s war against poverty, the increase in life expectancy that almost doubled during Mao’s rule and the health programs that were implemented such as the bare foot doctors. The reason so many Chinese still think of Mao as the George Washington of China was because life after 1949 was better than life before the CCP won the Civil War.

Students of China may want to see this movie, but the only place one may buy a DVD of this movie is probably China.

When Edgar Snow came down with pancreatic cancer, Zhou Enlai dispatched a team of Chinese doctors to Switzerland to treat him.

The next best thing would be to read Snow’s book about Mao, Red Star Over China and/or discover about Health Care During Mao’s Time.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Kissinger on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” with Neal Conan and Ted Koppel – Part 2/3

July 10, 2011

During “Talk of the Nation” with Kissinger, Ted Koppel chimed in saying that after reading On China, he got a sense that Kissinger has developed great admiration for what the Chinese have accomplished.

Kissinger said that was correct, that he respected what the Chinese people have accomplished historically, which was the longest, unbroken record of self-government of any society in the world today, which includes the economic transformations that have taken place in the last 30 years.

Then Koppel led the conversation to 1969, Nixon, Soviet troops on China’s northern border at the time and the Vietnam War. Discover more of China’s motives during Mao’s time at The Lips Protecting China’s Teeth.

Later in the conversation, Koppel mentioned that Mao had attempted to contact the United States through American journalist Edgar Snow but was unsuccessful.

Kissinger replied, Mao did not want to deal with us through a communist channel. We did not want to deal with Edgar Snow.  At the time, there were (political) elements in both countries that believed that the relationship between the US and China would be irreconcilably hostile (impossible to overcome differences) and the challenge was to make contact without a public embarrassment of rejection for either side.

One caller asked, “Does it work against our best interests by pretending that leaders, like, in China represent the Chinese people?”

Kissinger replied, “The United States often deals with countries whose governments were not directly elected by the people.… I think we should tell China that we are, in principle, for self-determination of peoples.”

Continued on July 11, 2011 in Kissinger on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” – Part 3 or Return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


Mao Zedong and Edgar Snow

March 3, 2010

During one of our trips to Shanghai, China, my wife and I went to see a film called Mao Zedong and Edgar Snow. It was in Mandarin and wasn’t subtitled, so I had to watch carefully to understand what was going on. Today, I Googled the move and found little about it on the Internet.  I discovered that Edgar Snow’s wife threatened to sue China if the movie was released.

Edgar Snow and Mao

There’s no doubt that Mao had to have had charisma to lead so many men in battle for so many years to win the revolution. Mao changed after he became the modern emperor, and the power corrupted him. The evidence—The Great Leap Forward, The Cultural Revolution and the purges that killed so many. Students of China may want to see this movie, but the only place one may buy a DVD of this movie is probably China.

The next best thing would be to read Snow’s book about Mao, Red Star Over China and/or discover about Health Care During Mao’s Time.

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


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