The Relevance of the Western Left

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at SPAMmindspring.com
Thu Feb 15 08:19:18 MST 2001


I have not read the book (I assume you are referring to Mao's doctor?), but
have heard second and third hand descriptions of it.  I do not enjoy that
type of intimate relationship with Mao to verify or dispute the inimtate
details.  My relationship with Mao was that of a family friend youngster two
generations younger and very deferential within the context of traditional
Chinese culture. The core of Chinese reolutionary leadership owas a very
close group, like an extended family.  My general impression of Mao was a
man of exceptional intelligence (and I don't say that about too many
people), who delighted in the unorthodox, with a sense of sacarstic humor
and seeing possitive in the most negative matters and people and vice versa.
  Had good things to say even about Chiang Kaishek.  Thought the Chinese
Communist owed a lot to the Japanese militarists who created  the conditions
for socialist victory.  Disdained propaganda of all types.  As for gossip of
personal habits, such as sex with young women in his old age, Mao was not
unique.  The Chinese believed that proximity with the young, not necessarily
physical sex, enhances longevity.  The elders of my own family practised it
with visiable results.  Mao was a highly cultured man well versed in Chinese
classics.  Had no knowledge of foreign languages, depended entirely on
translations for information, which was at once his advantage and his
shortcoming.  Liked to surround himself with well informed and intelligent
people and dislikeed flattery.  Constantly making fun of high positions and
bureacratic self-importance.  Has a strong distaste for luxury and pomp and
circumstances. By the time I met him, he was already in his late 70s, but
constantly spoke about the future and the young.  Very unimpressed with
power and expert knowledge.  Very aware of history.

Henry

Dennis R Redmond wrote:

> "Henry C.K. Liu" wrote:
>
> > I have met Mao and had listen to him at close range
> > for hours.
>
> Really? Now *this* is interesting. So what do you think of Quan Yanchi's
> "Mao Zedong: Man, Not God"? It struck me as surprisingly accurate and
> balanced.
>
> -- Dennis






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