Thursday, May 24, 2007

Frum on Mao

Frum reviews and defends Jung Chang and Jon Halliday's book on Mao. He is right to celebrate what is a massively important study. Without Chang and Halliday's painstaking research, and with so much evidence lost and those with first hand experience of Mao's crimes getting older day by day, the legends he created around his life might have been allowed to stand as history.

We might have forgotten the extent of Mao's crimes. A hideously effective, although now being slowly reversed, attack on the decency, history and people of the world's most populous nation. Many Western intellectuals, such as Nicholas Kristoff who Frum brilliantly skewers as practicing the "well Hitler did build the autobahn" approach to history, have given Mao far too easy a ride.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

his point on "land reform" is even better. those with Marxist and historicist perspectives always seem to confuse change of any kind to social structures (even catastrophic destruction) with progress.

james higham said...

I think most people, Matthew, have a jaundiced view of Mao already but this certainly helps.