'A classic... I see Dr. Li as the Tacitus of modern China' Hugh Trevor-Roper
For the first time here is the extraordinary story of one of the most powerful men who ever lived.
Mao Zedong had control over more people for a longer period than any other leader in history. In this intimate biography we learn not only about the imperial grandeur of his life in a country racked by poverty and the vicious infighting at his court, but also about his extraordinary personal habits: his teeth turned black because he would only brush them with tea; he hardly ever bathed but then received Krushchev in his swimming pool where he obliged the Soviet President to join him. Li's revealing account also chronicles Mao's voracious sexual appetite that led to the seduction of thousands of peasant women because he believed in the mythical healing power of sex.
Zhisui Li spent more time with Mao than perhaps any other person. He witnessed first-hand the catastrophic events that Mao's dotage and paranoia sparked in a country that revered him as a demi-god. The Private Life of Chairman Mao is a landmark biography, as fascinating as it is important to the understanding of modern China.