For the first time, here is the extraordinary true story of one of the most powerful men, and ruthless dictators, 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 that equal those of deceased Korean supreme leader, Kim Jong Il, another infamous and idiosyncratic dictator, equally deified and worshipped by his followers: Mao’s 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, and a must buy for fans of Wild Swans.
Li is Mao’s Boswell ― Irish Times
A unique political and historical autobiography of inestimable worth, an astounding chronicle of human weakness, political intrigue and corruption and the near destruction of a great nation by a great ego — Martin Booth
One of the most vivid descriptions of a dictator ever written ― The Times
A classic . . . I see Dr. Li as the Tacitus of modern China — Hugh Trevor-Roper
About the Author
Dr. Zhisui Li qualified from West China Union University, Chengdu, in 1945 and worked in Sydney before he was appointed as Chairman Mao’s personal physician in 1954, a post he held until Mao’s death in 1976. From 1980 until 1988, when he emigrated to the United States, Dr. Li served as the vice president of the Chinese Medical Association and the Gerontological Society of China. as Chief Editor of the National Medical Journal of China and the chinese edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. From 1988 until his death in 1995, Dr. Li lived in Chicago.