Transcript: Mao Symposium: Jeremy Paltiel, Bernie Frolic and Jan Wong | Apr 15, 2006

Joseph Wong sits at a round table in a conference room. He’s in his mid-forties, clean-shaven and with short straight black hair. He wears glasses, a dark gray suit, white shirt and patterned tie.

He says I'D LIKE TO
WELCOME ALL OF YOU TODAY TO
THIS ROUND TABLE
MAO THE
UNKNOWN STORY
SHOULD WE
RECALIBRATE THE SCALES OF
HISTORY.
MY NAME IS JOE WONG.
I'M A PROFESSOR IN THE
POLITICAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT.
I'M ALSO THE DIRECTOR OF THE
ASIAN INSTITUTE HERE AT THE
MUNK CENTRE AND IT'S WITH GREAT
PLEASURE THAT I WELCOME ALL OF
YOU HERE TODAY TO DISCUSS THIS
BOOK.

He holds a copy of the book "Mao" by Jung Chang.

Joseph says UH, THIS BOOK UH,
MAO
THE UNKNOWN STORY
BY
JUNG CHANG AND JON HALLIDAY UH,
NUMBERS 814 PAGES AND IT
COMPRISES 58 CHAPTERS.
IT HAS INVOLVED 10 YEARS OF
RESEARCH, HUNDREDS OF
INTERVIEWS INCLUDING FAMILIES
OF THOSE THAT MAO VICIOUSLY
OPPOSED TO PEOPLE LIKE HENRY
KISSINGER TO PEOPLE LIKE LEE
QUONG LIU.
IT IS A BOOK THAT CHRONICLES
MAO'S LIFE FROM THE TIME HE WAS
BORN TILL WHEN HE DIES.
UH, IT IS NOT WITHOUT A THESIS.
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE
UNFAMILIAR WITH THE BOOK UH, IT
PAINTS A VERY NEGATIVE PICTURE
OF MAO.
AS ONE REVIEWER PUT IT "IT
PORTRAYS HIM AS A CARDBOARD
CUT-OUT OF SATAN."
TO GIVE YOU A SENSE OF THE TONE
OF THE BOOK.

A caption reads "Joseph Wong. University of Toronto."

The caption changes to "Reviewing. Mao: The Unknown Story, by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. Munk Centre for International Studies. November 18, 2005."

Joseph says UH, I'VE HAD
THIS BOOK NOW FOR A WEEK.
IT'S JUST BEEN RELEASED UH, IN
NORTH AMERICA.
IT'S BEEN RELEASED UH, IN ASIA,
IT WAS RELEASED IN ASIA MUCH
EARLIER ON AND ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT STRUCK ME AS I READ
THIS BOOK, WAS
THIS THEME OF MEMORY AND HOW WE
REMEMBER UH, PEOPLE AND HOW WE
REMEMBER HISTORICAL EVENTS AND
INDEED I'M A COUPLE OF YEARS
YOUNGER THAN SOME OF THE
PANELLISTS HERE TODAY SO FOR
ME, MY FIRST TRIP TO CHINA WAS
IN UH, 1992 AND I WAS ON A
TRAIN AND I REMEMBER HAVING A
CONVERSATION WITH A VERY NICE
FAMILY AND WE WERE CHATTING AND
THIS WAS THREE YEARS AFTER
TIANAMEN AND WE WERE CHATTING
ABOUT THEIR TIME DURING THE
CULTURAL REVOLUTION AND ONE OF
THE THINGS THAT I WAS VERY
INTERESTED IN UNDERSTANDING AND
CERTAINLY SOMETHING THAT I'VE
BEEN ALWAYS DISCUSSING WHEN I'M
IN CHINA IS HOW PEOPLE REMEMBER
MAO IN PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO
LIVED THROUGH THESE PERIODS AND
THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS AT LEAST
FOR THOSE OR WITH THOSE THAT
I'VE SPOKEN TO MAO WAS A GREAT
REVOLUTIONARY.
HE UNIFIED CHINA AT A TIME WHEN
THE REPUBLICANS COULDN'T DO IT
UH, WHEN CHINA WAS RIFE WITH
WARLORDISM, ETCETERA, ETCETERA
YET AT THE SAME TIME HE WAS A
TERRIBLE LEADER.
WE HAD TO LIVE THROUGH THINGS
LIKE THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD AND
INDEED LIVE THROUGH THINGS LIKE
THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION WHICH
PEOPLE REFER TO OF COURSE AS
THE 10 LOST YEARS.
TO GIVE YOU A SENSE OF THIS
TYPE OF STORY THE VERY FIRST
SENTENCE IN THE BOOK READS "MAO
TSE-TUNG WHO FOR DECADES HELD
ABSOLUTE POWER OVER THE LIVES
OF ONE QUARTER OF THE WORLD'S
POPULATION.
WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR WELL OVER
70 MILLION DEATHS IN PEACETIME.
MORE THAN ANY OTHER 20th
CENTURY LEADER."
THE VERY LAST SENTENCES IN THE
BOOK READ "AT 10 MINUTES PAST
MIDNIGHT ON THE MORNING OF THE
9th OF SEPTEMBER 1976, MAO TSE-
TUNG DIED, HIS MIND REMAINED
LUCID TO THE END AND IN IT
STIRRED JUST ONE THOUGHT
HIMSELF AND HIS POWER."
THE EPILOGUE WHICH COMPRISES
TWO SENTENCES READ "TODAY...
TODAY MAO'S PORTRAIT AND HIS
CORPSE STILL DOMINATE
TIANAMEN'S SQUARE IN THE HEART
OF THE CHINESE CAPITAL.
THE CURRENT COMMUNIST REGIME
DECLARES ITSELF TO BE MAO'S
HEIR AND FIERCELY PERPETUATES
THE MYTH OF MAO."
SO IN MANY WAYS THAT UH, STORY
THAT WE SEE HERE IN THIS BOOK I
THINK RESONATES VERY MUCH WITH
THE SORTS OF STORIES THAT I
HEAR IN CHINA.
INDEED WHAT IT DOES I THINK IN
TERMS OF MEMORY IT REALLY
HIGHLIGHTS FOR US THE
COMPLEXITIES, THE
CONTRADICTIONS AND THE
INCONSISTENCIES IN TERMS OF HOW
WE REMEMBER THINGS.
HOW THE CHINESE NATION AT ONE
LEVEL REMEMBERS MAO.
HOW HIS CONTEMPORARIES WHOM
THESE AUTHORS INTERVIEWED
REMEMBER MAO IN TODAY'S WORLD
AND INDEED HOW HE IS
MEMORIALISED OR REMEMBERED IN
OUR WRITING WHETHER IT BE IN
TERMS OF SCHOLARLY ENDEAVOURS
OR MORE POPULAR ENDEAVOURS.
I AM NOT A CHINA SPECIALIST SO
I DON'T PRETEND TO BE ABLE TO
SQUARE THESE VERY FUNDAMENTAL
CONTRADICTIONS AND
INCONSISTENCIES BUT I DO HAVE
THE DISTINCT HONOUR AND
PLEASURE OF INTRODUCING TO YOU
A VERY DISTINGUISHED PANEL OF
SPEAKERS WHO HOPEFULLY WILL AND
I'M QUITE CONFIDENT CAN SQUARE
SOME OF THESE DEBATES.
THEY HAVE BEEN IN CHINA.
THEY WERE THERE DURING THESE
TIMES AND THEY ARE RECOGNISED
EXPERTS OF THIS FIELD.
FIRST WE HAVE PROFESSOR BERNIE
FROLIC.
WHO IS PROFESSOR EMERITUS FROM
YORK UNIVERSITY AND ALSO AN
AFFILIATED RESEARCHER HERE AT
THE ASIAN INSTITUTE.

Bernie Frolic is in his seventies, balding and with a beard. He wears glasses, a black suit, a black shirt and a patterned black tie.

Joseph says ONE OF THE REAL PIONEERS OF
CHINESE STUDIES OR POLITICS OF
CHINA AS WELL HIS OWN
BACKGROUND WAS IN RUSSIAN
POLITICS SO OF COURSE THE
STORIES BETWEEN THE SOVIET
UNION AND CHINA AT THIS TIME
ARE THINGS THAT HE CAN CLARIFY
FOR US.
PROFESSOR JEREMY PALTIEL IS
FROM CARLTON UNIVERSITY.
HE'S ONE OF CANADA'S LEADING
SPECIALISTS OF THE PEOPLE'S
REPUBLIC OF CHINA.
HE KNOWS WHAT GOES ON INSIDE
BEIJING.
WE'RE BOTH ON CHINA POLL
TOGETHER.
HE'S A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR TO
THAT AND I ALWAYS LEARN A GREAT
DEAL FROM HIM.

Jeremy is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short wavy brown hair. He wears glasses, a gray tweed suit, pale blue shirt and patterned tie.

Joseph says THE THIRD SPEAKER AND OUR FINAL
SPEAKER IS JAN WONG WHO IS A
COLUMNIST FOR THE GLOBE AND
MAIL AND ALSO THE AUTHOR OF THE
BOOK
RED CHINA BLUES
WHO
IS QUOTE "CONSIDERED BY MANY TO
BE ONE OF THE SHARPEST, MOST
ACERBIC VOICES IN CANADIAN
JOURNALISM TODAY."

Jan is in her forties, with short straight black hair. She wears red-rimmed glasses, a red blouse under a black jacket and a pendant necklace.

Joseph says WITHOUT FURTHER ADO PROFESSOR
FROLIC.

The caption changes to "Bernie Frolic. York University."

Bernie says THANK YOU
VERY MUCH.
IT'S A PLEASURE TO BE ON THIS
PANEL HERE WITH THIS
DISTINGUISHED GROUP IN
PARTICULAR THE TWO OF YOU WHO
WERE IN CHINA AT THE TIME OF
THE FULL
FLOWERING OF THE CULT OF MAO.
I -- I GOT THERE EARLIER.
I MAYBE ACTUALLY A REAL
PIONEER.
I PROBABLY MAYBE IN THIS ROOM
THE PERSON
WHO'S BEEN TO CHINA THE
EARLIEST OF ANYONE IN THIS
ROOM.
I FIRST CAME TO CHINA IN 1965
FROM THE SOVIET UNION AND AT
THAT TIME THE CULT OF MAO WAS A
LITTLE DIFFERENT.
IT HADN'T REALLY QUITE EMERGED
THE WAY IT DID DURING THE
CULTURAL REVOLUTION.
WHAT I'LL DO IS GIVE AN
OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK AGAIN,
JUST FOLLOWING ALONG WHERE JOE
BEGAN AND THEN MAKE ABOUT FIVE
OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE BOOK AND
HOPEFULLY STIMULATE SOME
DISCUSSION.
THIS AS YOU KNOW THE AUTHOR IS
THE AUTHOR OF
WILD
SWANS.
AND THAT HAPPENS TO BE THE MOST
POPULAR CONTEMPORARY NOVEL I
GUESS IN TERMS OF PUBLICATION
OF ANY BOOK IN RECENT, IN THE
CURRENT PERIOD.
UH, A GREAT BEST SELLER AND I
GUESS THEY HOPE THIS WILL BE A
SIMILAR BOOK.
UH, UH, IT'S VERY BIG AND I'M
SURE IT WILL TAKE YOU A LONG
TIME TO READ IT.
THE BOOK WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN
BRITAIN UH, IN UH, EARLIER THIS
YEAR AND COPIES OF IT HAVE MADE
THEIR WAY INTO CHINA AND I'LL
TALK ABOUT THAT A LITTLE LATER.
JON HALLIDAY WHO CO-WROTE THIS
BOOK WITH JUNG CHANG IS A
SPECIALIST ON RUSSIA AND AT
LEAST KNOWS RUSSIAN AND WAS
ABLE TO GET AT ACCESS TO COMMON
TERM AND SUBSEQUENT ARCHIVES,
RUSSIAN ARCHIVES UH, UH, THAT
HAD BEEN OPENED SINCE THE EARLY
90s SO THERE IS A SENSE, A
SENSE OF AUTHENTICITY TO SOME
OF THE ASSUMPTIONS OF THE UH,
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNIST
MOVEMENT AND THE RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN THE SOVIET UNION AND
CHINA.
THIS BOOK SHOWS THAT MAO THE
GREAT LEADER OF THE CHINESE
REVOLUTION UH, WAS A KILLER, AN
INHUMAN PERSON WHO PLOTTED AND
SCHEMED HIS WAY TO POWER
WITHOUT REGARD FOR THE CHINESE
PEOPLE KILLING 70 MILLION ALONG
THE WAY INCLUDING 38 MILLION
DURING THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD.
ACCORDING TO THEM MAO'S CRIMES
ARE GREATER THAN THOSE OF
STALIN AND HITLER.
THE BOOK ALSO CLAIMS TO PROVIDE
NEW IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT
THE ROLE OF THE SOVIET UNION IN
ASSISTING MAO TO POWER WAS FAR
GREATER THAN WE HAD IMAGINED IN
THE PAST.
THAT MAO HATED THE PEASANTS.
THAT HE WAS AN OPPORTUNIST WHO
SWITCHED BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN
THE KUOMINTANG AND THE
COMMUNIST PARTY.
AT LEAST IN THE EARLY PERIOD.
THAT HE ONLY PRETENDED TO FIGHT
AGAINST THE JAPANESE.
THAT THE LONG MARCH WAS A FRAUD
THAT THE YEMON BASE AREA WAS A
TIGHTLY DICTATORSHIP WHERE
THOUSANDS WERE KILLED THROUGH
PURGES.
AND UH, CONTRADICTS EDGAR
SNOW'S FAMOUS
RED STAR
OVER CHINA.
THAT HE GREW OPIUM TO GET
INCOME.
THAT HE ACQUIRED AN ENORMOUS
PERSONAL FORTUNE.
THAT HE FORCED KIM IL SUNG TO
LAUNCH THE KOREAN WAR.
THAT THE 100 FLOWERS CAMPAIGN
WAS DELIBERATELY CONTRIVED TO
SMOKE OUT HIS OPPOSITION.
THAT HE TRUSTED NO ONE AND
SYSTEMATICALLY KILLED AND
PURGED HIS RIVALS.
THAT HE SACRIFICED MILLIONS TO
GET NUCLEAR WEAPONS FOR CHINA
THAT HE INTENDED CHINA TO BE
THE WORLD'S NUMBER ONE
SUPERPOWER.
THAT HE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT
ECONOMICS NOR TECHNOLOGY.
THAT HE LAUNCHED THE CULTURAL
REVOLUTION TO DESTROY HIS
ENEMIES AND NOT TO IMPLEMENT A
GRAND VISION OF SOCIALISM.
THAT HE TRADED FOOD FOR WEAPONS
WHEN CHINA WAS STARVING.
ALL THIS IS IN THE BOOK AND I'M
NOT MAKING IT UP.
THE AUTHORS DESCRIBE MAO AS A
SEXUAL PHILANDERER WHO IGNORED
HIS CHILDREN, HAD NO MORAL
COMPASS HE WAS SADISTIC, EVIL,
A MONSTER LUSTING FOR POWER, A
SCHEMER, I'M QUOTING FROM THE
BOOK.
INSCRUTABLE, PARANOID, A
KILLER, LAZY, DIRTY.
HE NEVER TOOK A BATH IN 27
YEARS.
A MILITARY BUNGLER.
HE DISLIKED THE PEASANTS.
HE HATED MANUAL LABOUR.
AT THE AGE OF 24 HE CLEARED HIS
CONSCIENCE AND FROM THEN ON HE
NEVER FELT ANY GUILT ABOUT
ANYTHING THAT HE WOULD DO IN
THE FUTURE.
HE WAS A POOR ORGANISER.
HE WAS A POOR STUDENT.
A POOR SPEAKER.
HE HAD NOTHING GOOD TO SAY
ABOUT CHINESE TRADITION.
IN OTHER WORDS NO REDEEMING
CHARACTERISTICS AT ALL.
THIS IS THE PORTRAIT YOU GET OF
MAO, OF CHAIRMAN MAO IN THIS
BOOK.
SO LET ME MAKE FIVE
OBSERVATIONS NOW ABOUT THE
BOOK.
IT'S A GREAT READ FIRST OF ALL.
IT'S PASSIONATE.
UH, IT'S BIG.
IT TAKES A LONG TIME TO GET
THROUGH IT.
IT'S UH, IT'S A SWEEP OF
HISTORY HERE.
IT'S SOMEWHAT REMINISCENT IN
PART EDGAR SNOW'S
RED
STAR OVER CHINA
BECAUSE
IT TRIES TO CAPTURE THE
COMMUNIST MOVEMENT AND -- AND
UH, THE PERSONALITIES INVOLVED
BUT NO WHERE NEAR LIKE IT AT
ALL BECAUSE OF ITS NEGATIVE
VIEWS OF MAO AND THE COMMUNIST
MOVEMENT.
IT'S LIKE A NOVEL ALTHOUGH IT'S
NOT A NOVEL AT LEAST AS FAR AS
THE AUTHORS ARE CONCERNED.
IN SOME WAYS THE CLOSEST THING
I COULD THINK OF WAS
SOLZHENITSYN'S
GULAG
WRITINGS WHICH ALSO HAVE THIS
HUGE SWEEP OF HISTORY AND ALSO
UH, THE PURPOSE IS TO CONDEMN
THE REGIME FOR UH, ITS EXCESSES
AND WHAT IT DID.
IT'S AN ANGRY BOOK.
IT'S PHILIPPIC AS I FOUND OUT.
UH, UH, WHICH IS A VERBAL
DENUNCIATION CHARACTERISED BY
INVECTIVE SO I THINK THAT'S BUT
IT'S A GOOD READ AND I URGE YOU
ALL TO READ IT BUT KEEP IN MIND
WHAT IT IS.
SECOND, IT MAKES A NUMBER OF
IMPORTANT POINTS THAT WE SHOULD
DEBATE AND THINK CAREFULLY AND
THINK ABOUT CAREFULLY.
FIRST SUSTAINED SOVIET SUPPORT
TO THE CHINESE.
THERE'S BEEN A MIXED VIEW ABOUT
HOW MUCH ASSISTANCE THE SOVIET
UNION GAVE TO CHINA TO DEVELOP
THE REVOLUTION IN THE 20s IN
THE 30s UH, AND THROUGH TO THE
40s AND TO THE TAKE-OVER IN
1949 THIS BOOK SUGGESTS VERY
STRONGLY AND TO QUOTE
MARSHALL'S EVIDENCE TO SAY
SOVIET SUPPORT WAS THERE RIGHT
FROM THE BEGINNING.
THEY EVEN HELPED FOUND THE
COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA
WITHOUT MAO WHO DIDN'T APPEAR
UNTIL A YEAR LATER ACCORDING TO
THESE SOURCES.
AND SUBSEQUENTLY INTERVENED
THROUGHOUT THE PERIOD FROM THE
20s TO 1949 IN VARIOUS WAYS IN
CHINA I'M SURE WE'LL BE ABLE TO
TALK ABOUT THIS LATER.
I WANNA GIVE YOU JUST A QUICK
OVERVIEW.
SECONDLY, UH, THE VIEW OF THE
RELATIONS BETWEEN THE
KUOMINTANG AND THE COMMUNISTS
ARE A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN
WHAT WE THOUGHT UH, THAT FROM
THE PAST RECORD UH, SUGGESTING
THAT UH, MAO CO-OPERATED MUCH
MORE CLOSELY WITH THE
KUOMINTANG IN THE EARLY PERIOD
WAS A MEMBER OF THE KUOMINTANG
AND INDEED PROBABLY WAS THE
CASE AND WE CAN GO INTO THAT
EXACTLY WHAT THAT MEANT
ALTHOUGH FROM MY POINT OF VIEW
THE SEPARATION WAS MUCH CLEARER
THAN WHAT THEY SUGGEST.
KEY MYTHS OF THE REVOLUTION ARE
DEBUNKED.
THE LONG MARCH IS DEBUNKED.
THE YEMON BASE AREA IS
DEBUNKED.
JING GONG SE WHERE THEY FIRST
BEGAN THE JUNG SE SOVIET ALL
THIS IS SHOWN TO BE MYTHMAKING,
COMMUNIST MYTHMAKING.
THE KOREAN WAR, HERE THEY SAY
MAO STARTS IT NOT KIM IL SUNG
NOR UNITED STATES OR SOUTH
KOREA DEPENDING ON THE
VERSIONS.
MAO IS DEMONISED AS I SAID
EARLIER 70 MILLIONS WERE KILLED
BY HIM AND MUCH MORE THAN ANY
OTHER STUDY AND SO FORTH AND
THE OTHER POINTS WE'VE MADE MAO
DID NOT FIGHT THE JAPANESE.
HE OBSESSED WITH GETTING
NUCLEAR WEAPONS AFTER 1949 AND
THIS AFFECTS HIS RELATIONS WITH
BOTH THE SOVIET UNION AND THE
OUTSIDE WORLD.
AND HE'S BENT ON WORLD
DOMINATION AFTER 1949 SO THOSE
ARE JUST SOME OF THE THINGS
THAT ARE IN THIS BOOK.
THE THIRD IS UH, IN TERMS OF
SCHOLARSHIP WE'RE SCHOLARS HERE
AND WE HAVE TO JUDGE THIS NOT
BY WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT THIS MAN
AND HIS DEEDS BUT WHAT -- BUT
HOW DO THEY COME BY THIS
INFORMATION?
WELL, IN MY VIEW IN TERMS OF
SCHOLARSHIP IT'S A BAD BOOK.
UH, I THINK THERE ARE IMPORTANT
INFORMATION HAS COME FORTH BUT
BY AND LARGE IF ONE OF MY
GRADUATE STUDENTS PRODUCED THIS
AS A PHD THESIS I'D SEND HIM
BACK OR FAIL HIM AND REWRITE IT
AND GET YOUR SOURCES STRAIGHT
AND PRODUCE SOURCES THAT WE CAN
UNDERSTAND AND CUT-OUT A LOT OF
THE ADD HOMONYMS AND SO FORTH.
SOMEBODY SAYS "IT'S A MIXTURE
OF JADE AND PLASTIC."
UH, A BARRAGE OF SOURCES GET
CUR THEY'RE OFTEN STRUNG
TOGETHER BY UNWARRANTED
PERSONAL CONCLUSIONS AND HERE I
HAVE TO READ AN INTERVIEW
BRIEFLY WHERE THE TWO WRITERS
SAY "OVER THE YEARS JON AND I
HAVE COME TO SUCH AN
UNDERSTANDING OF THE MIND OF
MAO THAT WE COULD WORK OUT HIS
MOTIVES UH, WITHOUT ANY
CORRESPONDING EVIDENCE.
WE WOULDN'T NEED TO ASK HIM.
WE WOULD KNOW HIS ANSWER."
THIS IS A QUOTE THAT WAS JUST
RECENTLY MADE -- AN INTERVIEW
THAT THEY JUST HAD.
UM, I CAN GO INTO ALL THE
DIFFERENT CRITICISMS OF THE
SOURCES UH, WHETHER IT'S
SOMEBODY'S CHINESE TEACHER
WHO'S SUPPORTABLY IS SAYING
THIS IS WHAT THE CHAIRMAN MAO
DID IN FACT, THE PERSON WHO
KNOWS THE TEACHER SAYS THE
TEACHER NEVER SAID THAT BUT
WHETHER MICHAEL CAINE THE ACTOR
HAS MADE HIS AUTHORITY ON THE
KOREAN WAR.
A 93 YEAR OLD WOMAN ON THE LONG
MARCH.
DID HE KILL 38 MILLION DURING
THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD OR 23
DEPENDING ON THE ESTIMATES THEY
ALWAYS GIVE THE HIGH ESTIMATES.
WHERE ARE THE RUSSIAN ARCHIVES
A LETTER FROM MAO'S SECOND WIFE
IS QUOTED FROM MEMORY AND THE
DOCUMENT DOESN'T EXIST.
UH, AND SO FORTH AND SO ON WE
COULD GO ON.
SO THE QUESTION HERE IS AFTER
THIS BOOK HOW DO YOU EVALUATE
MAO?
WELL, YOU HAVE TO GET THE WHOLE
PICTURE HERE.
IT'S MORE THAN JUST THE
INDIVIDUAL.
THE CONTEXT OF REVOLUTIONARY
CHINA REMEMBER MAO SAYS, I MUST
READ THIS QUOTE.
"A REVOLUTION IS NOT A DINNER
PARTY.
NOR WRITING AN ESSAY NOR
PAINTING A PICTURE OR DOING
EMBROIDERY.
IT CANNOT BE SO REFINED, SO
LEISURELY AND GENTLE, SO
TEMPERATE, KIND, COURTEOUS,
RESTRAINED AND MAGNANIMOUS.
A REVOLUTION IS AN
INSURRECTION, AN ACT OF
VIOLENCE BY WHICH ONE CLASS
OVERTHROWS THE OTHER.
TO PUT IT BLUNTLY IT IS
NECESSARY TO CREATE TERROR FOR
A WHILE IN EVERY RURAL AREA
OTHERWISE IT WOULD BE
IMPOSSIBLE TO SUPPRESS THE
ACTIVITIES OF COUNTER
REVOLUTIONARIES IN THE
COUNTRYSIDE PROPER LIMITS HAVE
TO BE EXCEEDED IN ORDER TO
RIGHT A WRONG OR ELSE A WRONG
CANNOT BE RIGHTED."
WE'RE TALKING HERE ABOUT A
COMMUNIST REVOLUTION.
WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT
SOMETHING THAT TAKES PLACE IN
THE COUNTRYSIDE IN BRITAIN IN
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, IN
THE AGRARIAN REVOLUTION, THE
INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION OR
SOMEPLACE ELSE.
THIS IS CHINA WHERE LARGE
NUMBERS OF PEOPLE WERE
SUFFERING TERRIBLY.
WHERE THERE WERE WARLORDS AND
JAPANESE OCCUPATIONS,
STARVATION, CHILD SELLING,
EXECUTIONS, BRUTALITY, YOU
COULD GO ON DOWN THE LIST SO WE
HAVE TO KEEP THIS IN CONTEXT.
AN INDIVIDUAL, IS MAO THE
INDIVIDUAL CAPABLE OF DOING ALL
OF THIS BY HIMSELF?
HE'S PART OF A SYSTEM.
RECENT REVISIONS OF STALIN
SUGGEST THAT STALIN, YEAH, HE
WAS BAD BUT HE REALLY WASN'T
COMPLETELY BAD.
THE OTHERS WERE BAD ALONG WITH
HIM AND SEVERAL OF THE BOOKS
SUGGEST WELL, STALIN HAD
COMPANY WELL, MAO HAD COMPANY,
TOO.
UH, SO LET'S NOT ALWAYS JUST
TAKE MAO AS A FOCAL POINT FOR
THIS LET'S LOOK AT THE BROAD
PICTURE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY,
THE LEADERS AROUND HIM.
EVEN DUNG SHO PING WHO WAS
CERTAINLY IMPLICATED IN A
NUMBER OF THE SORDID EVENTS OF
THE PARTY AT ONE POINT IN TIME.
THE SYSTEM REQUIRES PARTY
DISCIPLINE AND THE ELIMINATION
OF FACTIONS.
THAT'S THE HISTORY OF ALL
COMMUNIST MOVEMENTS WHY WOULD
CHINA BE ANY DIFFERENT?
HIS ACHIEVEMENTS THOUGH SHOULD
BE NOTED.
WHY WE'RE CRITICISING THE
NEGATIVE ASPECTS AFTER ALL HE
UNITED CHINA OR HE AND THE
PARTY UNITED CHINA.
HE GOT RID OF THE FOREIGNERS.
THEY IMPLEMENTED LAND REFORM.
THEY INDUSTRIALISED.
MADE CHINA A VIABLE NATION
STATE AGAIN AND PRODUCED AN
ASIAN MODEL OF DEVELOPMENT FOR
BETTER OR FOR WORSE.
COULD -- COULD SOMEBODY THIS
EVIL DONE ALL THIS?
WELL, MAYBE.
UH, HOW DOES EVIL PERSON LIKE
THIS GET TO POWER?
WHERE'S THE CHARISMA?
NOTHING IS TALKED HERE ABOUT
HOW A PERSON LIKE THIS GETS TO
A POSITION OF POWER.
WHAT IS IT THAT LED PEOPLE TO
FOLLOW HIM?
THIS BOOK DOESN'T TELL YOU
THIS.
LED THEM TO GIVE UP TO HIM THE
RIGHT TO LEAD THEM.
OKAY, FINAL POINT WILL THIS
BOOK CHANGE THINGS IN CHINA?
NOT LIKELY.
AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED.
I'VE MET A NUMBER OF PEOPLE...
IN FACT, I JUST CAME BACK FROM
BEIJING WHO'VE READ THE BOOK
AND SAY OKAY, YEAH, WE KNOW
MOST OF THESE THINGS ANYWAY
IT'S NOT LIKE THE TITLE SAYS
THE UNKNOWN STORY.
WE KNOW THIS ALREADY.
THERE'S BOOKS BY MAO'S
GIRLFRIENDS AND BOOKS BY MAO'S
DOCTOR AND THIS AND THAT.
THE STUFF COMES IN FROM HONG
KONG, PEOPLE READ IT.
UH, THE PARTY NEEDS MAO FOR
LEGITIMACY.
YOU CAN'T GET RID OF THE FATHER
OF THE REVOLUTION.
THEY HAVE A FORMULA IN PLACE.
70 PERCENT GOOD, 30 PERCENT BAD.
THAT SEEMS TO BE GOOD ENOUGH
FOR NOW.
UH, THERE IS SOME RE-EVALUATION
TAKING PLACE JUST YESTERDAY I
GUESS THEY REHABILITATED
(Speaking Chinese) WHICH IS
VERY EXTRAORDINARY IN A SENSE
THE PERSON WHOSE CRITIC...
WHOSE PURGE WAS UH, THE CAUSE
OF THE TIANAMEN 1989 QUOTE
EVENT OR MASSACRE.
UH, IN -- SO I THINK WE HAVE TO
BE CAREFUL HERE THIS BOOK I
DON'T THINK WILL BRING DOWN THE
COMMUNIST PARTY OR THE REGIME
BUT PEOPLE WILL READ IT AND
THINK ABOUT SO AS SOME OF MY
FRIENDS SAY UH, UH, WE SHOULD
CONTINUE TO VISIT MAO'S
MAUSOLEUM UH, TO SALUTE HIM BUT
ALSO TO MAKE SURE HE'S DEAD.
[ Laughter ]

Bernie says THANK YOU.

Joseph says THANK YOU,
BERNIE, UH, JEREMY.

The caption changes to "Jeremy Paltiel. Carleton University."

Jeremy says AS FAR AS I
CAN...
I'M CONCERNED THERE ARE TWO
BASIC QUESTIONS BEFORE US.
FIRST IS THE QUESTION OF THE
QUALITIES OF THE BOOK.
UM, AND TO DISCUSS WHAT IT'S
CONTRIBUTION IS OF OUR
UNDERSTANDING OF MAO TSE-TUNG
AS A HUMAN BEING AND AS A
HISTORICAL FIGURE.
THE SECOND
QUESTION IS WHAT STANDARDS
SHOULD WE APPLY TO EVALUATING
HISTORICAL FIGURES?
AND HERE IN PARTICULAR WE
FACE THE
PROBLEM OF WHETHER WE CAN MAKE
AN ANALOGY BETWEEN PRIVATE
MORALITY THAT IS TO SAY THE
RELATIONSHIP A HUMAN BEING HAS
WITH HIS INTIMATES AND PUBLIC
MORALITY THAT IS THE WAYS IN
WHICH A POLITICAL LEADER
APPROACHES THE FATE OF THOSE
FOR WHOM HIS POLICY DECISIONS
HAVE CONSEQUENCES.
THE PROBLEM -- ONE PROBLEM WITH
THIS BOOK IS THAT IT MAKES NO
DISTINCTION BETWEEN THOSE TWO
AND IT CONFLATES THEM.
UM, AND AS FAR AS THE LARGER
QUESTION OF HOW DO WE EVALUATE
A HISTORICAL FIGURE THE BOOK IS
ACTUALLY SILENT.
UM, WHAT THEY DO INSTEAD IS AS
BERNIE ALREADY TOLD US THEY
QUOTE AN ESSAY THAT MAO WROTE
TO HIMSELF WHEN HE WAS 24 YEARS
OLD IN WHICH HE WRITES WHEN HE
WAS 24 BEFORE HE BECAME A
MARXIST IS "THAT AN INDIVIDUAL
HAS NO RESPONSIBILITY TO ANYONE
ELSE AND NO RESPONSIBILITY TO
HISTORY."
AND THAT'S THE END OF THE STORY
EXCEPT THE SAME ESSAY ALSO
TALKS ABOUT GREAT HEROES AND
HOW GREAT HEROES ARE ABSOLVED
FROM THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES TO
OTHER ORDINARY HUMAN BEINGS AND
THAT BEGS A QUESTION.
WHAT IS A GREAT HERO?
UM...
NOW MOST PEOPLE KNOW THE FAMOUS
QUOTATION FROM LORD ACTON
"POWER TENDS TO CORRUPT AND
ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS
ABSOLUTELY."
BUT FEW REMEMBER ITS
CONTINUATION.
GREAT MEN ARE ALMOST ALWAYS BAD
MEN.
EVEN WHEN THEY EXERCISE
INFLUENCE AND NOT AUTHORITY
STILL MORE WHEN YOU SUPER ADD
THE TENDENCY OR CERTAINTY OF
CORRUPTION BY AUTHORITY AND
MAYBE WE CAN PARAPHRASE THE...
THE UM, APOCRYPHAL CHINESE
SAYING WHERE YOU LIVE IN
INTERESTING TIMES WHICH IS NOT
A CHINESE SAYING AND SAY MAY WE
LIVE IN A TIME WHEN GREAT MEN
ARE NOT NECESSARY.
AND HERE I THINK IS THE CRUX OF
THE PROBLEM.
THE CRUX OF THE PROBLEM IS HOW
TO EVALUATE MAO IN THE CONTEXT
IN WHICH HE LIVED?
AND THIS IS NOT REALLY...
ALMOST ESCAPES THE AUTHORS OF
THIS BOOK IN FACT, WHAT THEY
COUNTER FOR THAT IS SIMPLY
STATISTICS.
THEY ARE AT PLAINS AND THIS IS
AN ISSUE THAT THEY COME BACK TO
AGAIN AND AGAIN AROUND SAYING
THE 70 MILLION DIED IN
PEACETIME.
NOT TO QUESTION PEACETIME BUT
THERE WAS NO PEACE IN CHINA
FROM 1911 UNTIL 1953 UM...
SO THAT'S HARD -- IT'S HARD TO
SAY UM, 70 MILLION PEOPLE DIED
IN PEACETIME IS A FIGURE THAT
THEY PLUNK OUT PRECISELY
BECAUSE THAT'S A FIGURE WHICH
IS MORE OR LESS THE NUMBER OF
PEOPLE KILLED BY STALIN AND MAO
AND STALIN AND HITLER COMBINED
SO THIS IS A FIGURE FOR WHICH
THEY ARE AT PAINS OF NEED TO
ADD UP TO IN ORDER TO SHOW THAT
HE'S THE WORST FIGURE OF THE
20th CENTURY.
NOW I WANNA BE A LITTLE BIT
MORE SPECIFIC IN TERMS OF THE
QUALITIES OF THE BOOK.
UM...
I WANT TO USE ACTUALLY THREE
BASIC OBJECTIONS TO THE BOOK
AND THEN ILLUSTRATE EACH OF
THEM INTO SMALL EXAMPLES.
DESPITE THEIR PRESTIGIOUS
RESEARCH AND ACCESS TO SOURCES
THEY MAKE CLAIMS THAT GO BEYOND
THE EVIDENCE AS BERNIE ALREADY
TOLD US.
TWO, EVEN WHERE THEY HAVE
EVIDENCE FOR THEIR CLAIMS THEY
SYSTEMATICALLY FAIL TO ENGAGE
CONTRARY EVIDENCE EVEN WHEN
THAT EVIDENCE IS WELL
ESTABLISHED AND CREDIBLE.
THIRD, BEYOND THE FACTUAL
CLAIMS MADE IN THE VOLUME THE
LINE OF ARGUMENTATION AND THE
HISTOGRAPHIC PREMISE BEHIND IT
FAILS TO STAND UP TO LOGICAL
ANALYSIS.
THAT IS THE CONCLUSIONS THEY
DRAW FROM THE EVIDENCE THEY
GATHER DO NOT STAND THE TEST OF
LOGIC LET ALONE FACT.
AND FINALLY, WHAT I WANTED TO
ADD TO THIS IS THE PREMISE AND
CONCLUSION THAT MAO'S AGENCY
HAVE ONLY NEGATIVE
CONSEQUENCES, IGNORES BOTH THE
CONTEXT AND THE OUTCOMES AND I
THINK I WANT TO GO ON TO SAY A
FEW THINGS ABOUT WHAT ACTUALLY
THERE IS IN THE BOOK THAT WE
MIGHT WANT TO LEARN FROM.
NOW I WON'T GO OVER THE LIST OF
THE CLAIMS ABOUT MAO AGAIN HERE
BUT MAO CERTAINLY WAS A VERY
BAD MAN ACCORDING TO ORDINARY
STANDARDS OF MORALITY.
I'M NOT GOING TO ABSOLVE HIM.
HE WAS DISLOYAL TO HIS FRIENDS
AND SUPPORTERS.
CALLOUS AND EVEN CRUEL TO HIS
WIVES AND CHILDREN AND WAS
PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR
COUNTLESS DEATHS.
THAT'S INCONTROVERTIBLE.
AND IT'S NOT HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE
EVEN WITHIN CHINA.
EVEN ON -- YOU CAN FIND SOME OF
THIS INFORMATION ON THE WEBSITE
OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY.
BUT LET ME GO THROUGH THE BOOK.
THEY'RE MAKING CLAIMS BEYOND
THE EVIDENCE AND I'LL JUST GIVE
YOU A COUPLE OF EXAMPLES.
THEY MAKE THE OUTRAGEOUS
INSINUATION THAT THE ANTI-
JAPANESE WAR WAS A COMMUNIST
CONSPIRACY.
FORCED IT UPON THE RELUCTANT
NATIONALISTS ON PAGE 200.
AND THE JAPANESE AND THE
JAPANESE WAR WAS STARTED BY A
COMMUNIST MOLE.
THAT'S THEIR CLAIM.
THIS IGNORES (Unclear) ORDERS,
THE DIRECTORS OF THE JAPANESE
CABINET AND THEIR TERMS FOR THE
CEASE FIRE WHICH WILL COME UP.
THESE ARE ALL HISTORICAL
DOCUMENTS WHICH ARE WELL KNOWN.
LIKEWISE THEY ALSO SAY THAT
(Speaking Chinese) THE
KUOMINTANG COMMANDER IN
NORTHWEST CHINA IN THE CAMPAIGN
AGAINST YEMON IN 1947 WAS A
COMMUNIST MOLE.
ACTUALLY WE KNOW WHO THE MOLE
WAS.
IT WAS A MAN BY THE NAME OF
(Speaking Chinese) WHO JUST
DIED ON SEPTEMBER 9th WHICH IS
IRONICALLY THE ANNIVERSARY OF
MAO'S DEATH.
THE WAS A MOLE BUT IT WASN'T
(Speaking Chinese)
BUT MY FAVOURITE OUTRAGEOUS
COMMENT OCCURS ON PAGE 375.
IN WHICH THERE'S A HEADING THAT
SAYS "MAO MAY HAVE HELPED CAUSE
STALIN'S STROKE."
AND LET ME
READ YOU WHAT IT SAYS.
YOU BE THE JUDGE.
"AT THE LAST DINNER STALIN HAD
TALKED ABOUT THE KOREAN WAR.
CONNECTING THE FAILURE TO KEEP
YUGOSLAVIA'S TITO IN THE CAMP
WITH THE COMMUNISTS LOSING THE
CHANCE TO WIN IN KOREA.
HE ALSO BROUGHT UP THE COMMON
TURN IN THE FAR EAST AND HOW IT
HAD FAILED IN JAPAN.
AFTER DINNER HE READ SOME
DOCUMENTS AND THE LAST WAS A
REPORT ABOUT HIS ATTEMPT TO
ASSASSINATE TITO HAD FAILED.
STALIN HAD SUSPECTED MAO OF
BEING A JAPANESE SPY IN THE
PAST AND WAS VIEWING MAO AS A
POTENTIAL TITO.
HIS OBSESSIVE MIND MAY HAVE
BEEN REVOLVING AROUND MAO, IT
MAY HAVE BEEN REVOLVING ABOUT
MAO REFLECTING THAT GETTING RID
OF MAO WOULD BE JUST AS
DAUNTING A TASK AS TRYING TO
FINISH OFF TITO."
THEN THEY SAY THAT CAUSED HIS
STROKE.
LET ME GO ON
REFUSING TO ADDRESS CONTRARY
EVIDENCE.
CHANG AND HALLIDAY GET CARRIED
AWAY WITH THEIR CONSPIRACY
THEORIES AND IGNORE AND
DELIBERATELY DISTORT EVIDENCE.
ON PAGE 175 THEY IMPLIED THAT
THE MANCHURIAN WARLORD JUNG SIL
LIN WAS ASSASSINATED BY SOVIET
AGENTS.
WHEN THERE'S INCONTROVERTIBLE
AND DOCUMENTED EVIDENCE OF THE
CONSPIRACY TO ASSASSINATE HIM
BY THE JAPANESE KOGUN ARMY
WHICH THEY DON'T ADDRESS IT'S
NOT FOOTNOTED.
THEIR FLIMSY EVIDENCE FOR THEIR
CLAIM IS THAT THERE IS A
PICTURE OF THE ASSASSINATION
SCHEME IN A BOOK BY SOMEONE IN
THE SOVIET ARCHIVES.
NOW I'VE SEEN THE ASSASSINATION
SCENE, TOO AND I ASSURE YOU I
WAS NOT THERE.
[ Laughter ]
BUT MORE
SERIOUS IS THEIR ALLEGATION
THAT MAO KNEW IN ADVANCE OF KIM
IL SUNG'S PLANS TO INVADE SOUTH
KOREA AND HE ENCOURAGED IT.
THIS IS CONTRADICTED BY OTHER
SPECIFIC EVIDENCE THAT MAO WAS
NOT CONSULTED IN ADVANCE.
NOW I'LL GO TO THE LOGICAL
FLAW.
HISTORY IS MUCH MORE THAN
STATISTICS.
AND IT'S NOT A LEDGER BOOK, AN
ACCOUNTANT'S EXERCISE OF GOOD
AND EVIL LIKE MAO'S OFFHAND
COMMENT THAT STALIN WAS 70 PERCENT
GOOD AND 30 PERCENT BAD.
IT'S NOT ABOUT THIS KIND OF
EVALUATED JUDGEMENT AT ALL BUT
RATHER ABOUT HOW WE GOT HERE.
I'M A KEEN READER OF THE LATE
EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGIST JUST UH,
STEVEN J. GOULD AND STEVEN J.
GOULD ALWAYS SAID AGAIN AND
AGAIN WE CAN'T READ THE
GEOLOGICAL RECORD AS SIMPLY A
THEOLOGICAL RECORD ABOUT HOW
WE'RE ALL ADVANCING TO WHO WE
ARE AS HUMAN BEINGS.
THE SAME WAY WE CANNOT READ
HISTORICAL RECORD TO SHOW
SOMEHOW THAT THIS PERSON HAD
THIS PARTICULAR INTENT AND GOT
THESE PARTICULAR RESULTS
BECAUSE HE WANTED THEM TO BE
THAT WAY.
WE CAN ONLY READ IT GIVEN THE
CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE TIME AND
HERE I WANNA GO BACK TO THE
QUESTION WHEN MAO STARTS OUT HE
IS THE SON OF PEASANTS IN
HUNAN.
HE HAD NO RESOURCES.
HE HAD NO MONEY.
THE FACT THAT HE WAS ABLE TO
ACCOMPLISH WHAT HE DID EVEN THE
GREAT HISTORICAL CRIMES THAT HE
DID MUST AT SOME LEVEL HAVE
BEEN THE RESULT OF SOME TALENTS
THAT HE HAD.
AND THE WAY IN WHICH THEY READ
HISTORICAL RECORD TO TRY AND
SHOW THAT EVERY ACCOMPLISHMENT
OF MAO'S WAS ACTUALLY SOMEBODY
ELSE'S ACCOMPLISHMENT AND EVERY
CRIME WAS HIS ALONE, SIMPLY
DOESN'T STAND UP TO LOGIC.
UM, I DON'T HAVE ANY TIME LEFT
SO I CAN'T GO INTO IT AND WE'LL
PROBABLY GET INTO MORE OF IT IN
THE PANEL DISCUSSION BUT I DO
WANNA GET INTO WHAT I THINK IS
INTERESTING IN THE BOOK IS
EXACTLY THE POINT THAT BERNIE
TOUCHED UPON AND THAT IS THE
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MAO AND
THE COMMON TERM AND MAO AND THE
SOVIET UNION.
THERE IS DOCUMENTATION
THERE BUT HERE AGAIN WE HAVE TO
HAVE A NOTE OF CAUTION.
THE AUTHORS THEMSELVES ADMIT
AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT MAO AND
STALIN DIDN'T GET ALONG.
I READ YOU THAT QUOTE THAT
STALIN FELT THREATENED BY MAO
SO THEREFORE YOU CAN'T SIMPLY
READ IT AS THOUGH MAO SIMPLY
WAS CARRYING OUT WHATEVER THE
SOVIETS WANTED OF HIM.
IT'S CLEARLY NOT -- EVEN BY
THEIR OWN STANDARDS.
UM, BUT THE STORY OF HOW THEY
RELATED TO ONE ANOTHER IS MORE
COMPLEX THAN THE HISTORICAL
RECORD THEY'RE EVEN GIVEN SO
FAR.
I WISH THEY'D WRITTEN THAT BOOK
AND FINALLY THEN TO SAY WELL
WHAT CAN WE SAY?
UM...
I WAS GONNA READ YOU A
QUOTATION FROM GODUNG WHO WAS A
FAMOUS POLITICAL SCIENTIST UM,
WHO -- I'LL READ ONE SENTENCE
OF IT, THE TOTALITARIAN REGIME
IN CHINA EMERGED AS AN AD HOC
REACTION AGAINST THE COUNTRY'S
POLITICAL DISINTEGRATION IN THE
EARLY PART OF THE 20th CENTURY.
THIS WAS A TOTALITARIAN REGIME
BUT WHAT IT DID IS IT REACTED
AGAINST THE DISINTEGRATION OF
CHINA.
AND MAO FOR WHATEVER FAULTS HE
MAY HAVE AND HIS CRIMES DID PUT
AN END WHAT SUN YAT SEN CALLED
THE STORY OF CHINA AS A SHEET
OF LOOSE SAND.
AND THE STORY OF HOW WE DID
THAT IS IN FACT QUITE CONNECTED
WITH HIS CRIMES.
THE BRUTALITY OF THE LAND
REFORM MOVEMENT IS DEEPLY
INVOLVED IN EXACTLY ENDING THE
PERIOD OF A PILE OF OR A SHEET
OF LOOSE SAND.
AND WHEN WE ALSO COME TO MAKE
THIS KIND OF EVALUATION WE NEED
TO KEEP A COUPLE OF FACTS IN
MIND.
THE LIFE EXPECTANCY IN CHINA IN
1949 WAS ABOUT 35 YEARS.
THE LIFE EXPECTANCY IN CHINA AT
THE TIME WHEN MAO DIED WAS
ABOUT 68 YEARS.
IF WE COMPARE THAT THOSE
FIGURES TO THE FIGURES IN INDIA
IN EXACTLY THE SAME TIME PERIOD
THE LIFE EXPECTANCY IN CHINA IS
AT LEAST 10 OR 12 YEARS HIGHER
THAN THAT OF INDIA.
IF WE WORK OUT THE EXCESS
DEATHS DUE TO POOR PUBLIC
HEALTH AND INEQUALITY IN INDIA
AS COMPARED WITH THOSE IN CHINA
WE GET A FIGURE WHICH IS HIGHER
THAN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE
KILLED IN THE GREAT LEAP
FORWARD FAMINE.
BEAR THAT IN MIND.
SO MAO IS DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE
FOR PERHAPS 38 MILLION PEOPLE
DYING IN THE GREAT LEAP
FORWARD.
I WOULD NOT DENY THAT
WHATSOEVER BUT HE'S ALSO
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RISE IN
LIFE EXPECTANCY WHICH ALLOWED
MANY MORE PEOPLE TO LIVE FULL
AND FLOURISHING LIVES AND I'LL
STOP HERE.

Joseph says THANK YOU,
JEREMY.
JAN?

The caption changes to "Jan Wong. The Globe and Mail."

Jan says WELL, UH, I AM NOT
AN ACADEMIC ALTHOUGH I HAD ONCE
DREAMED OF BEING AN ACADEMIC.
[ Laughter ]
I'M A JOURNALIST.
I'M A REPORTER AND I READ THIS
BOOK AND I HAVE TO SAY I'M
SHOCKED.
I'M JUST SHOCKED.
I WAS READING IT AND MY JAW WAS
DROPPING ALL THE TIME.
SO I'D BE VERY INTERESTED
AFTERWARDS TO DISCUSS I MEAN
YOU'VE ALREADY TOUCHED ON IT
BOTH OF YOU ABOUT HOW SOLID THE
EVIDENCE IS BUT I READ IT AND I
GO OH, MY GOD.
I CAN'T BELIEVE IT.
OUT OF ALL THREE OF US I THINK
I WAS PROBABLY THE MOST MAOIST.
WELL, I GUESS YOU WEREN'T A
MAOIST AT ALL, BERNIE.

Bernie says I WAS
STALINIST, NO.

Jan says I HAVE TO TELL
YOU--

Bernie says JUST KIDDING.

Jan says I HAVE TO TELL YOU
THE THREE OF US WE HAVE A
CONNECTION.
UM, JEREMY AND I

- FIRST OF ALL I WAS THE FIRST
CANADIAN STUDENT TO GO TO CHINA
UH, DURING THE CULTURAL
REVOLUTION BUT THEN THE NEXT
YEAR AND I WENT AS A PRIVATE
STUDENT.
I WAS UM, THE
COMMUNIST PARTY PAID FOR
EVERYTHING THAT I DID THAT
FIRST TERM, THE FIRST YEAR.
WHEN I CAME BACK FINISHED MY
UNIVERSITY HERE I SHOULD ALSO
ADD I'M CANADIAN IN CASE PEOPLE
DON'T REALISE THAT I'M NOT
CHINESE I KNOW IT LOOKS KIND OF
ODD BUT I'M ACTUALLY CANADIAN
BUT I WANTED TO GIVE YOU THE
CONTEXT OF THE THREE OF US.
I THEN GOT ONTO THE SECOND
GROUP OF GOVERNMENT EXCHANGE
STUDENTS, CANADIAN GOVERNMENT
EXCHANGE STUDENTS AND JEREMY
AND I WERE ON THE SAME GROUP
AND THE MAN WHO CAME DOWN EVERY
MONTH TO BEIJING UNIVERSITY AND
THE OTHER UNIVERSITIES TO GIVE
US OUR PAYOLA IS BERNIE FROLIC
WHO WAS THEN FIRST SECRETARY OF
THE CANADIAN EMBASSY WHICH I
GUESS WAS THE ONLY WAY A
CANADIAN ACADEMIC COULD GET TO
CHINA DURING THE CULTURAL
REVOLUTION.
SO THAT'S WHY BERNIE USED TO
GIVE US WADS OF MONEY BECAUSE
THE BIGGEST DENOMINATION--

Bernie says SHOPPING BAGS
FULL OF MONEY.

Jan says WELL, I DIDN'T A
WHOLE SHOPPING BAG BUT WE EACH
GOT ABOUT 300 YEN WHICH IS A
FORTUNE IN THOSE DAYS ABOUT
WHAT MAO WOULD GET FOR HIS
SALARY AND THEY WERE ONLY IN 10
YEN BILLS SO WE GOT QUITE A WAD
AND UM, SO IN CASE YOU THINK
WE'RE BEING NICE TO BERNIE FOR
A REASON THAT'S BECAUSE HE USED
TO GIVE US LOTS OF MONEY.
[ Laughter ]
UH, SO I WOULD SAY
THAT WHEN I WENT TO CHINA THE
FIRST TIME AND I WENT ALONE UH,
IN 1972 ON MY SUMMER VACATION
FROM MCGILL UNIVERSITY I WAS IN
ASIAN STUDIES AND I WAS DYING
TO GO TO CHINA BECAUSE I REALLY
THOUGHT THIS WAS A PARADISE I
WAS WHAT I CALL NOW A STARK
RAVING MAOIST.
I REALLY DID BELIEVE, I THINK
JEREMY WAS SORT OF -- YOU WERE
SORT OF HALF MAOIST?

Jeremy says I WAS
BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT SCHOOL.
[ Laughter ]

Jan says BUT I WAS LIKE
I'LL BELIEVE EVERYTHING.
UH, AND I WISH I HAD READ THIS
BOOK BEFORE I WENT TO CHINA IN
1972.
SO I'M READING THIS BOOK AND
I'M HEARING, I'M LISTENING, I'M
READING ALL THIS STUFF THAT
BERNIE HAS TOLD YOU THAT THE
LONG MARCH WAS A SHAM, MAO
DIDN'T EVEN WALK.
HE GOT CARRIED IN A LITTER.
THEY EVEN HAD A LITTLE ROOF PUT
OVER IT SO HE WOULDN'T GET
RAINED ON AND THESE POOR GUYS
WHO CARRIED HIM ENDED UP DYING
OF EXHAUSTION.
MAO HAD 50 VILLAS ACROSS CHINA
THAT'S WHAT THEY SAY.
HE HAD FIVE IN BEIJING.
THAT'S NEWS TO ME.
I ACTUALLY WENT TO ONE OF HIS
VILLAS ON A PREVIOUS -- ABOUT A
YEAR AGO I DECIDED TO STAY IN
ONE OF HIS VILLAS BECAUSE OF
COURSE NOW IT'S OPEN IF YOU
HAVE MONEY YOU CAN SPEND THE
NIGHT IN MAO'S VILLA AND I
REMEMBER RUNNING AROUND GOING I
CAN'T BELIEVE I'M HERE.
I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M HERE.
AND IT WAS ONE OF THOSE UGLY
BUILDINGS THAT THEY DESCRIBE IN
THE BOOK BUT THEY ALSO DESCRIBE
TRAIN TRACKS WHERE HE WAS SO
PARANOID.
HE WOULD HAVE HIS TRAIN UH,
BRING HIM RIGHT INTO THE VILLA
AND I DON'T REMEMBER SEEING ANY
TRAIN TRACKS AND THEY ALSO SAID
THAT HE HAD TO HAVE VILLAS
BUILT SO THAT THE OUTER WINDOWS
IN THE HALL WOULD NOT BE UH,
SIDE BY SIDE THE OTHER WINDOWS
IN THE ROOM SO THAT NO ASSASSIN
COULD SHOOT HIM AND I DON'T
REMEMBER THAT EITHER.
SO I'M READING THIS BOOK AND
I'M ALSO -- IT'S SHOCKING TO ME
BECAUSE WHEN I WENT TO CHINA I
THOUGHT IT WAS A COUNTRY WHERE
THEY PRACTISED EQUALITY AND I
REMEMBER THINKING THAT
EVERYBODY WAS EQUAL.
WOMEN WERE LIBERATED, ALL THAT
STUFF BUT I DO REMEMBER SEEING
THOSE CARS, THE PRIVATE CARS
FOR THE OFFICIALS WITH THE
CURTAINS ON IT.
THAT WAS ABOUT ALL YOU COULD
SEE IN THE EARLY 70s ABOUT WHAT
WAS THE PRIVILEGE THAT THE
LEADERS ENJOYED AND UM, THE
ONLY OTHER LITTLE BIT OF
REALITY THAT I SAW WAS WHEN THE
CHANCELLOR OF BEIJING
UNIVERSITY INVITED ME AND
ANOTHER STUDENT FOR CHINESE NEW
YEAR'S DINNER MAYBE IT WAS
REGULAR NEW YEAR'S I DON'T
REMEMBER TO HIS HOUSE AND HE
HAD ALL THIS FOOD THAT YOU
COULDN'T GET ANYWHERE ELSE.
HE HAD FATTY PORK WITH
CHESTNUTS, I STILL REMEMBER.
HE HAD CHICKEN, NOBODY COULD
GET CHICKEN IN CHINA.
NOW THEY HAVE A REAL AVIAN FLU
PROBLEM BUT UH, YOU COULDN'T
GET CHICKEN IN THOSE DAYS AND
THAT WAS A GLIMPSE THAT I HAD
THAT PEOPLE WITH CERTAIN STATUS
COULD GET SPECIAL FOOD BUT UM,
RONG JUNG, HER NAME IS REALLY
HARD FOR US TO PRONOUNCE
BECAUSE HER NAME IN CHINESE IS
JUNG RONG.
AND OF COURSE IN ENGLISH IT'S
NOT SPELLED PROPERLY AT ALL UH,
WHICH I THINK IS INTERESTING
BECAUSE SHE SHOULD BE SPELLING
IT ACCORDING TO THE MAINLAND
PINYIN SYSTEM SO SHE MUST HAVE
A REAL PROBLEM WITH BEING FROM
MAINLAND CHINA AND I THINK HER
STORY IS INTERESTING IN THAT
SHE DECIDED TO WRITE ABOUT MAO
AND I GUESS WHAT I WANNA SAY IS
SHE'S SO BIASED.
SHE IS EXTREMELY BIASED AND I'M
AS A REPORTER WE ALWAYS YOU
KNOW, HAVE A POINT OF VIEW,
TOO.
WE TRY TO HIDE IT SO YOU THINK
WE'RE IMPARTIAL BUT WE DO HAVE
A POINT OF VIEW BUT WE DON'T
DISCOUNT THE OTHER EVIDENCE AND
AS JEREMY SAYS SHE REALLY DOES
DISCOUNT EVIDENCE AND I GUESS
I'M TALKING AS IF SHE WROTE IT
NOT -- SHE ALSO WROTE WITH HER
HUSBAND BUT LET ME GIVE YOU TWO
EXAMPLES, ONE SHE TALKS ABOUT
NOW WATCHING TORTURE SESSIONS
DURING THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION
OF HIS COLLEAGUES.
UH, OR OF PEOPLE GETTING BEATEN
UP AS IF HE'S A SADIST AS IF HE
REALLY LIKES THAT AND THAT'S
ONE INTERPRETATION BUT THERE'S
ANOTHER VERY REASONABLE
INTERPRETATION AND THAT IS
MAYBE HE WANTS TO SEE WHAT'S
GOING ON AND HE CAN'T GO OUT
BECAUSE OF THE PERSONALITY CULT
THERE'S NO WAY MAO COULD GO OUT
ON THE STREET.
SO MAYBE HE JUST WANTS TO SEE
WHAT'S GOING ON.
I KNOW WHEN GORBACHEV CAME TO
CHINA IN 1989 I WAS A REPORTER
THERE AND YOU COULDN'T MOVE
AROUND AND GORBACHEV COULDN'T

- HIS CONVOY COULDN'T GET
AROUND THE CITY AND SO HIS
PEOPLE WENT AROUND AND
VIDEOTAPED ALL THE
DEMONSTRATIONS AND HE WOULD
WATCH THEM AT NIGHT SO TO ME
IT'S NOT THAT FARFETCHED THAT
THE REASON MAO WOULD WANT TO
SEE THE TORTURE SESSIONS IS
BECAUSE HE JUST WANTED TO YOU
KNOW, KEEP UM, IN TOUCH WITH
WHAT WAS GOING ON.
UM, SHE ALSO TALKS, THE SECOND
EXAMPLE I'D LIKE TO JUST POINT
OUT IS SHE TALKS ABOUT MAO
GIVING AID TO THE THIRD WORLD
AND ONLY GIVES A NEFARIOUS
MOTIVE THAT HE WANTS TO BE THE
LEADER BECAUSE HE LIKES TO BE
THE LEADER BUT WHAT ABOUT IF HE
REALLY BELIEVED THAT OTHER
COUNTRIES SHOULD BECOME
SOCIALIST AND HE THOUGHT THAT
WAS A BETTER SYSTEM AND MAYBE
HE WANTED TO HELP.
TO ME, THAT UH, IS A POSSIBLE
INTERPRETATION AND SO TO JUST
SIMPLY SAY WELL, HE WAS A POWER
HUNGRY MONSTER THAT'S WHY HE
HELPED THE THIRD WORLD IS TOO
SIMPLE.
IT COULD BE A COMBINATION OF
THOSE TWO MOTIVES BUT THEY
DON'T DISCOUNT -- THEY DON'T
CONSIDER THE OTHER MOTIVE AT
ALL.
UM, I...
IN THE FEW PARTS THAT I HAVE
HAD DIRECT EXPERIENCE WITH THE
BOOK DOESN'T RING THAT TRUE.
NOW YOU'VE HEARD FROM JEREMY
AND BERNIE WE WERE ALL THERE IN
THE EARLY 70s.
WAS IT A PLACE OF TERROR?
WAS IT REALLY SCARY TO BE THERE
IN THOSE DAYS?
DID PEOPLE FEEL TERRIBLE OR
UNHAPPY OR PETRIFIED?
ALL OF THIS STUFF IS GOING ON
BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS NICE.
I LIVED THERE WITH CHINESE
STUDENTS.
GRANTED THERE WAS A LOT OF
XENOPHOBIA SO THEY WOULDN'T
TELL ME A LOT BUT IF IT WAS
SUCH A SCARY PLACE SUCH A
TERRIFYING PLACE, MANY OF MY
ROOMMATES WOULDN'T HAVE SLEPT
AT NIGHT.
MAYBE SHE WOULD'VE BEEN WAKING
UP SCREAMING WITH NIGHTMARES
AND I HAVE TO SAY SHE NEVER
WOKE UP SCREAMING WITH A
NIGHTMARE.
SO IT'S NOT AS DRAMATIC AS
IT'S PAINTED.
PEOPLE WERE FUNCTIONING AND
LIVING IN CHINA DURING THE
CULTURAL REVOLUTION.
PEOPLE WENT DOWN TO THE
COUNTRYSIDE AND IT WAS REALLY
TOUGH AND THEY SUFFERED BUT
THEY ALSO GOT SOMETHING OUT OF
IT.
I THINK THAT MY CLASSMATES AT
BEIJING UNIVERSITY LEARNED A
LOT FROM HAVING TO GO AND DO
MANUAL LABOUR ONE OF THEM BEING
YOU BETTER STUDY HARD CAUSE YOU
DON'T WANNA GO BACK TO BEING A
PEASANT.
YOU BETTER TAKE ADVANTAGE OF
THIS.
WE DID HARD LABOUR, TOO.
THAT WAS PART OF OUR CURRICULUM
THAT WAS MAO'S OR MAYBE MADAM
MAO'S PLAN FOR US AT BEIJING
UNIVERSITY.
I DIDN'T MIND DOING IT.
I MEAN, I MOVED BRICKS AROUND.
I DUG DITCHES.
I THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA
FOR PEOPLE WHO SPEND THEIR TIME
IN LIBRARIES TO GO OUT AND DO A
LITTLE BIT OF WORK SO AND I
JUST DIDN'T THINK IT WAS THAT
BRUTAL AND LATER ON I WENT TO
CHINA AND BECAME A REPORTER
THERE FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL
MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES AND THE
PEOPLE I GOT TO KNOW IN CHINA
WERE ALL OF THE CULTURAL
REVOLUTION ERA AND WE TALKED
FRANKLY BECAUSE THEY KNEW THAT
I HAD BEEN THERE THEN AND I
DIDN'T GET THIS POLICE TERROR,
YOU KNOW, FEAR.
I DIDN'T GET THAT FROM THEM.
NOW JUST SPECIFICALLY MY
HUSBAND WAS THE ONLY AMERICAN
DRAFT DODGER TO GO TO CHINA
DURING THE VIETNAM WAR.
HE WENT TO CHINA.
HE'S AN AMERICAN.
HE'S NOT CHINESE.
HE'S EVEN MORE NOT CHINESE THAN
I AM.
HE'S WHITE.
HE WENT TO CHINA IN 1966.
I SAID TO NORMAN WHEN I READ
THAT PAGE ABOUT IN 1966 SHE
WRITES THAT THERE ARE BONFIRES
IN THE STREET, SCREAMING AND
TORTURE COULD BE HEARD ON THE
STREET.
SO I PUT DOWN MY BOOK I SAID,
NORMAN, IN 1966 WHEN YOU GOT
THERE DID YOU HEAR PEOPLE
GETTING TORTURED?
DID YOU HEAR SCREAMING?
HE GOES NO, BUT THERE WERE
BONFIRES, YES, THEY WERE
BURNING THE BOOKS BUT I DIDN'T
HEAR SCREAMING OR TORTURE.
SO I THINK THAT IF IT'S SO EASY
TO CHECK SOMETHING LIKE THAT
HOW COME SHE'S WRITING THIS IN
THE BOOK?
AND AGAIN JUST TO CONCLUDE I
WOULD LIKE TO SAY WHAT THE
OTHERS HAVE SAID THAT MAO DID
DO SOME GOOD THINGS FOR CHINA.
UH, I'M NOT A MAOIST ANYMORE
BUT LET ME, I JUST THINK TO NOT
TALK ABOUT THE LIFE EXPECTANCY,
TO NOT TALK ABOUT THE END OF
PROSTITUTION, THE END OF
VENEREAL DISEASE, TO NOT TALK
ABOUT THE FACT THAT HE GOT
INFLATION UNDER CONTROL THAT HE
KICKED OUT ALL THE FOREIGN
IMPERIALIST POWERS THAT HAD
CARVED UP CHINA THAT HE CLEANED
UP CORRUPTION THAT WAS RAMPANT
UNDER THE KUOMINTANG.
TO NOT TALK ABOUT LAND REFORM
IS -- HOW CAN YOU WRITE A BOOK
ABOUT MAO AND NOT GET INTO
THESE ISSUES SO AGAIN TO ME IT
DOESN'T REALLY ADD UP.
I LOVED READING THE BOOK.
I HAD A GREAT TIME READING IT.
IT WAS LOTS OF FUN.
I KEPT FLIPPING BACK TO SEE
WHAT'S THE SOURCE ON THIS AND I

- SOME OF IT I FIND AMAZING
BUT I -- YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT
WITH A BIG GRAIN OF SALT
BECAUSE IT'S ONLY PART OF THE
PICTURE.
THANKS.

Joseph says THANK YOU VERY
MUCH.
UM, WE'RE GOING TO NOW REVISIT
UH, SOME OF THE COMMENTS THAT
HAVE BEEN MADE TO EACH OF THE
PANELLISTS.
WE'LL HAVE A FEW MINUTES TO
REVISIT SOME OF THE THINGS THAT
THEY'VE SAID.
BERNIE, YOU'RE UP.

Bernie says WELL, I'D
LIKE TO JUST PURSUE ONE POINT
THAT I DIDN'T REALLY DEVELOP
BECAUSE WE DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH
TIME MAO IS A THEORIST.
WHEN WE BEGAN TO BE AWARE OF
MAO AT LEAST I IN THE 60s AND
STARTING TEACHING ABOUT THE
CULTURAL REVOLUTION IN CHINA,
MAO'S WRITINGS WERE REALLY
IMPORTANT.
THEY'RE NOT JUST IMPORTANT FOR
PEOPLE IN CHINA, THEY'RE
IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE OUTSIDE
CHINA.
ALL HIS WRITINGS ABOUT A NEW
KIND OF COMMUNIST MODEL
DIFFERENT THAN THE SOVIET
MODEL, REVISIONIST MODEL THE
DIFFERENT ROLE FOR THE
PEASANTRY, DIFFERENT ROLE FOR
THE NATIONAL BOURGEOISIE.
ANTI-IMPERIALIST INSTEAD OF
CLASS STRUGGLE, ETCETERA, BASE
AREAS, ALL THESE THINGS EMERGED
IN THE 60s IN A VERY TIGHTLY,
TIGHTLY DEVELOPED LOGICAL
ANALYSIS PICKING UP ON HIS
WRITINGS FROM THE 30s AND 40s
INTO THE 50s.
ALL THAT
STUFF, ALL THAT MAO DID HIS
WRITINGS ABOUT UH, NATIONALISM
AND CHINA HAS STOOD UP AND UH,
THE QUOTE THAT I MENTIONED
ABOUT VIOLENCE AND SO FORTH.
THAT'S NOT IN
THIS BOOK AT ALL.
IT'S LIKE HE NEVER DID IT.
DID HE HAVE A GHOST WRITER?
DID SOMEBODY ELSE DO THESE
THINGS?
WHY IS THIS NOT IN HERE?
IS THIS NOT IMPORTANT?
UH, THAT'S MY FIRST QUESTION.
I THINK THIS WAS IMPORTANT AND
UH, IT STOOD AS A MAJOR BODY OF
WORK UH, AGAINST THE SOVIET
STALINIST, KHRUSHCHEV, ETCETERA
MODEL OF THE TIME.
SURE THEY'RE BOTH LENINISTS BUT
MAO WAS PURSUING A DIFFERENT
PATH AND AT LEAST MAO AND THE
CHINESE COMMUNISTS.
SO THE QUESTION IS -- IS THIS
GOING TO BE ANOTHER BOOK WHERE
THEY'RE GOING TO SHOW THEY
DIDN'T WRITE ANY OF THESE
THINGS?
I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO KNOW.
IT SOUNDED TO ME VERY LOGICAL
AND CONSISTENT BASED ON HIS UH,
DEVELOP OF INTELLECT.
SO THAT'S ONE POINT.
THE SECOND POINT IS THAT HOW IS
THIS DIFFERENT THIS RECORD OF
THE RISE OF MAO AND THE
DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMMUNIST
PARTY IN CHINA GIVEN THE FACT
THEY HAD 20 PLUS YEARS TO GET
TO POWER FROM THAT OF OTHER
COMMUNIST PARTIES AND OTHER
KINDS OF FACTIONALISM WITHIN
PARTIES AND THE EMERGENCE OF
ONE PERSON AT THE TOP, THE NEED
TO HAVE ONE LEADER TO BE AT THE
TOP OF THE SYSTEM AND THE CULT
OF PERSONALITY WHETHER IT'S UH,
STALIN OR MAO OR TITO OR HO CHI
MIN OR KIM IL SUNG OR CASTRO,
YOU NAME IT, EVERY ONE OF THESE
PEOPLE IN MANY WAYS HAS MANY OF
THE QUALITIES OF MAO NOW IS
THIS SOMETHING THAT COMES OUT
OF A COMMUNIST SYSTEM?
IS THAT NECESSARY IF YOU WANT
TO HAVE A MARXIST REVOLUTION OR
A LENINIST REVOLUTION OR IS
THIS SOMETHING THAT JUST
HAPPENS TO HAPPEN IN THE 20th
CENTURY REVOLUTIONS.
I THINK WE NEED TO KNOW MORE
ABOUT CHINESE AUTHORITARIAN
CULTURE, UH, WE TALKED ABOUT IT
SEVERAL TIMES HERE, JUST WHAT,
WHAT, WHAT IS THE SOCIO-
HISTORICAL CONTEXT IN WHICH
THIS WHOLE THING EMERGED AND
THIS MOVEMENT EMERGED, THEY
CAME TO POWER AND THIS EVIL
KILLER EMERGED AT THE TOP AND
UH, WAS THEN CELEBRATED AND
EITHER DEMONISED OR MADE INTO A
GREAT LEADER.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN IN CHINA?
WAS THERE SOMETHING IN THE
CHINESE CONTEXT THAT IT
COULDN'T HELP BUT BE THIS WAY?
WAS THIS THE ONLY SOLUTION TO
THE PROBLEM OF CHINA?
UH, UM, COULD IT HAVE BEEN
DIFFERENT IF SOMEBODY ELSE HAD
BEEN THERE?
WHAT HAPPENS?
COULD THE KUOMINTANG DONE IT
BETTER?
UH, THE COST, THE 70 MILLION OR
WHATEVER, I'M NOT QUITE SURE
IT'S 70 MILLION BUT LET'S SAY
IS THE COST WORTH IT?
WE ALWAYS -- WHEN I TEACH MY
COURSES ON CHINA WE USUALLY
BEGIN SO HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE
KILLED IN THE CHINESE
REVOLUTION?
OH, A THOUSAND?
10,000?
A MILLION?
IS IT WORTH IT?
AT WHAT POINT DO YOU SAY IT'S
NOT WORTH IT TO KILL ALL THOSE
PEOPLE?
UH, THAT'S SOMETHING WE HAVE TO
THINK ABOUT HERE WELL, MAYBE
THEY DON'T HAVE TIME TO THINK
ABOUT IT THERE IT HAPPENED.
CAN WE THEN ABSOLVE PEOPLE OF
THESE CRIMES?
IS THIS THE WAY A REVOLUTION
HAS TO TAKE PLACE?
THESE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS
YOU NEED TO SORT OF THINK ABOUT
HERE IS THE PRICE WORTH IT?
COULD SOMEBODY ELSE HAVE DONE
IT BETTER?
UH, WE DON'T KNOW BUT WE SHOULD
AT LEAST BE THINKING ABOUT IT
WHEN WE ARE CRITICISING MAO AT
THE TOP OF THE PYRAMID PLUS THE
FACT THAT IT'S NOT ONE PERSON.
THERE'S A WHOLE GROUP THAT'S
INVOLVED HERE COMING AND GOING
BEING ASSOCIATED, HOW DID HE
GET TO THE TOP?
HOW DOES THIS PERSON IN THAT
ROOM SUDDENLY BECOME THE LEADER
OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE?
WHAT IS IT THE CHARISMA?
WHAT IS THE LEADERSHIP QUALITY
THAT HE HAD?
NOT MENTIONED IN THIS BOOK AT
ALL EXCEPT THAT HE'S A KILLER
AND HE JUST GOT TO THE TOP IN
THAT ROOM AND HE KILLED ANYBODY
WHO OPPOSED HIM.
I DON'T THINK IT WORKED THAT
WAY SO THESE ARE SOME OF THE
PROBLEMS THAT I SEE.
FINALLY THEN UNTOLD STORY, I
THINK A LOT OF HIS STORY HAS
BEEN TOLD ALREADY EVEN THOUGH
THIS IS SUBTITLED THE UNTOLD
STORY.
SOME THINGS ARE NEW BUT PERHAPS
NOT AS MUCH AS THE AUTHORS
WOULD LIKE US TO BELIEVE BUT
THAT'S OKAY, THIS IS PART OF
UH, LEARNING ABOUT UH, TRYING
TO GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT A
VERY COMPLEX PHENOMENON AND AS
JEREMY SAID THE WHOLE QUESTION
OF LEADERSHIP, HOW DOES ONE
BECOME A LEADER AND HOW DO YOU
GET THERE AND UH, HOW DO WE
ASSESS THIS IN THE LIGHT OF
HISTORY?

Joseph says THANK YOU,
JEREMY.

Jeremy says I GUESS I
WANTED TO ADD MAYBE THREE
POINTS.
UM, THE FIRST HAS TO DO WITH AT
LEAST AN INKLING TOWARDS
THINKING THROUGH THIS QUESTION
OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE MORALITY.
REVOLUTIONARIES ARE NOT PEOPLE
WHO TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE AND
SAY YES, SIR, THANK YOU, SIR
AND HELP OLD LADIES ACROSS THE
STREET.
I DON'T MEAN THAT FACETIOUSLY.
I DON'T MEAN THAT FACETIOUSLY.
PEOPLE WHO ARE LIKE THAT WHO
TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE AND HELP
OLD LADIES ACROSS THE STREET
WILL NEVER BECOME
REVOLUTIONARIES.
THE FACT IS THAT MAO AROSE IN
CHINA IN EXTRAORDINARILY
VIOLENT TIMES.
HE WAS A WARLORD AMONG
WARLORDS.
HE WAS BETTER AT IT THAN
ANYBODY ELSE BUT WHY WAS HE
BETTER AT IT THAN ANYONE ELSE?
AND THAT'S WHERE WE COME INTO
THIS QUESTION OF -- OF HIS
LEADERSHIP QUALITIES, HIS
PHILOSOPHY, ETCETERA.
AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE MY
WORD FOR IT.
WHAT I LOOK TO I'M GONNA SAY
TWO FIGURES WHO ONE OF WHICH AT
LEAST IS QUOTED IN THE BOOK
ANOTHER ONE IS WELL KNOWN BOI
BO AND DUNG SHO PING.
DUNG SHO PING WAS PUT IN JAIL
BY MAO THREE TIMES.
AND IT IS DUNG SHO PING WHO
SAYS "WITHOUT MAO WE WOULD'VE
BEEN WANDERING IN THE DARKNESS
MANY MORE YEARS."
THAT'S WHAT HE SAYS AND HE'S
NOT A PERSON OF POLITICAL
QUALITIES WHICH ARE EXACTLY
SECOND RATE.
BOI BO WAS PUT IN JAIL BY MAO
FOR FIVE YEARS.
POSSIBLY TORTURED, I DON'T
KNOW.
BOI BO SAYS AND THIS IS
INTERESTING BECAUSE HE TALKS
ABOUT IT IN THE PERIOD OF THE
EARLY 1930s PRECISELY AGAINST
ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO FIGURED
OUT ONE OF MAO'S VICTIMS WONG
MING.
BOI BO CURSES WONG MING FOR
HAVING GOT HIM SENT TO
(Speaking Chinese) JAIL
BECAUSE OF
HIS STUPIDITY IN THE TACTICS
THAT WAS ADOPTED BY MOSCOW AND
WONG MING IN THE EARLY 1930s
WITH REGARD
TO WASTING THE LIVES OF
COMMUNISTS NOT NECESSARILY MY
KIND OF PEOPLE BUT THESE ARE
COMMUNISTS AND HE SAYS IT'S
MAO'S PATH AND HE'S WRITING
THIS AFTER HE'S BEEN PUT IN
JAIL FOR FIVE YEARS.
"IT'S MAO'S PATH WHAT'S SAVED
US."
SO PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY ACTED IN
THE FIELD WHO WERE ENGAGED IN
THE SAME ENTERPRISE AS MAO MADE
A DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE
LEADERSHIP SKILLS OF MAO AND
HIS STRATEGY VERSUS THOSE OF
MOSCOW OR WONG MING OR OTHER
PEOPLE.
THAT'S NOT IN THIS BOOK.
SECOND POINT, WELL, THAT WAS
ACTUALLY MORE OR LESS MY SECOND
POINT.
THE THIRD POINT, THE THIRD
POINT IS UNINTENDED
CONSEQUENCES.
THESE -- JUNG CHANG AND JON
HALLIDAY ARE KIND OF TONE DEAF
ON THIS SCORE.
UM...
THERE ARE THINGS WHICH MAO DID
DELIBERATELY IN WHICH HAD
DELIBERATE RESULTS AND THERE
ARE THINGS THAT MAO DID
DELIBERATELY AND HAD
UNANTICIPATED CONSEQUENCES AND
I'M GONNA TAKE TWO OF THEM AND
LOOK AT THEM AND THEY ALL HAD
THE SAME AND INTERESTING
CONSEQUENCE.
THE FIRST IS THE CULTURAL
REVOLUTION.
THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION WAS A
GREAT DISASTER IN MANY, MANY
WAYS AND MANY OF HUNDREDS OF
MILLIONS SUFFERED FOR IT.
BUT IT ALSO DECENTRALISED
CHINA.
AND THE EFFECTS OF THAT
DECENTRALISATION COMBINED WITH
ANOTHER THING WHICH MAO WAS
PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE
SINO-SOVIET DISPUTE AND THE AND
THE (Unclear) WITH THE UNITED
STATES WERE AT LEAST 40 PERCENT OF THE
PRECONDITIONS FOR CHINA'S
OPENING TODAY AND ITS MARKET
SOCIETY.
THESE ARE MAO'S CHOICES AND
WHAT'S INTERESTING, IT'S
INTERESTING THING AN OMISSION
IN THIS BOOK.
ALTHOUGH THEY INTERVIEW THE
HEADS OF THE JAPANESE COMMUNIST
PARTY THEY LEAVE OUT A STORY
ABOUT THE SINO-SOVIET DISPUTE.
IN 1965 THERE WAS AN AGREEMENT
FORGED BY THE JAPANESE
COMMUNIST PARTY WITH THE
CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY WITH
THE HEAD WAS NEGOTIATED BY JOE
EMLI WITH THE INFORMATER OF LIU
SHO CHI WHO LATER BECOMES MAO'S
ANTAGONIST IN THE CULTURAL
REVOLUTION TO SHELVE THE SINO-
SOVIET DISPUTE IN ORDER TO AID
VIETNAM DURING THE VIETNAM WAR.
WHEN THE AGREEMENT REACHES MAO,
MAO CALLS HIM BACK AND CALLS IT
OFF.
HE TELLS HIM TEAR UP THIS
AGREEMENT.
WE'LL CONTINUE OUR DISPUTE WITH
THE SOVIET UNION.
WE'RE NOT MAKING ANY DEALS WITH
THEM.
IT'S NOT IN THE STORY EVEN
THOUGH THEY INTERVIEWED THE
PRINCIPALS.
THE SINO-SOVIET DISPUTE HAS
WORLD HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE FOR
US TODAY.
FOR CHINA AND FOR THE WORLD.
AND THAT'S AN UNINTENDED
CONSEQUENCE BUT IT DESERVES TO
BE PART OF THE BIOGRAPHY.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S VERY
DIFFICULT IS THAT...
MAO'S ACHIEVEMENTS ARE WRAPPED
UP IN HIS CRIMES.
THAT IS TO SAY MAO'S POLITICAL
FORMULA FOR UNITING THE COUNTRY
PRECISELY INVOLVED MOBILISING
HATRED AGAINST A MINORITY BY
THE MAJORITY.
THAT'S HOW HE -- THAT'S HOW HE
UNIFIED CHINA.
THERE'S A VERY OLD CHINESE
SAYING ABOUT 2,000 YEARS OLD.
"YOU CAN WIN THE EMPIRE ON
HORSEBACK BUT YOU CANNOT RULE
THE EMPIRE FROM HORSEBACK."
THE WAY IN WHICH MAO WON THE
EMPIRE WAS PRECISELY BY THIS
MOBILISATION OF HATRED.
IN THE END IT UNDERMINED CHINA
AND IT ENDED UP WITH THE
CULTURAL REVOLUTION AND IT HAD
TO BE OVERCOME FOR CHINA TO
BECOME RICH AND PROSPEROUS
TODAY SO THERE'S TWO KINDS OF
DIALECTICAL MOVES, YOU TALK
DAOISM, I THINK MAO WAS
CERTAINLY MUCH MORE OF A DAOIST
THAN HE WAS A CONFUCIAN.
HE WAS ANTI-CONFUCIAN AND TO
HIS BONE HE WAS AGAINST
HARMONY.
HE WAS IN FAVOUR OF STRUGGLE.
HE TOOK THAT FROM MARXISM AND
FROM DARWINISM WHICH DEEPLY
INFLUENCED HIM.
AND I'LL STOP.

Jan says WELL, I THINK WHAT
JEREMY SAID ABOUT PRIVATE AND
PUBLIC MORALITY OF LEADERS OF
GREAT LEADERS OF HEROES OR BIG
LEADERS MAYBE WE SHOULDN'T SAY
GREAT, IMPORTANT LEADERS IS
INTERESTING BECAUSE AS
REPORTERS WE DON'T CARE WHAT
YOU DO IN PRIVATE OR IN PUBLIC.
WE SEE YOU AS A WHOLE THING AND
IF WE CAN EXPOSE WHAT YOU DO IN
PRIVATE WE THINK THAT'S REALLY
RELEVANT BECAUSE YOU ARE A
LEADER SO MAYBE IN ACADEMIA YOU
CARE THAT THEY DON'T TAKE OUT
THE GARBAGE BUT IN JOURNALISM
WE WOULD POINT OUT THAT HE
DOESN'T TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE WE
THINK THAT'S SIGNIFICANT AND WE
THINK THAT'S REVEALING OF A
PERSON SO I DON'T DRAW THAT
DICHOTOMY HERE AND I THINK HOW
MAO TREATED HIS WIVES, HIS
CHILDREN, HIS MISTRESSES, IN
FACT, MAO HARDLY TRAVELLED AND
THAT HE WAS -- HE TRIED TO
LEARN FOREIGN LANGUAGES.
HE DIDN'T GET ANYWHERE WITH IT.
HE WAS TERRIBLE.
HE COULDN'T EVEN SPEAK
MANDARIN.
HE ONLY SPOKE HIS HUNAN
DIALECT.
WHAT STRUCK ME IN THE BOOK WAS
AT ONE POINT THEY MENTION THAT
HE'D ONLY BEEN TO A RESTAURANT
ONCE IN HIS LIFE.
HOW MANY CHINESE PEOPLE HAVE
BEEN TO ONE RESTAURANT IN THEIR
LIVES?
HE MUST BE THE ONLY CHINESE
PERSON.
OTHER THAN A PEASANT WHO CAN'T
AFFORD IT WHO NEVER WENT TO A
RESTAURANT.
HE MUST -- HE'S SUCH AN ODD
PERSON AND YOU KNOW, ODD
HE LIKED TO SWIM
BUT HE NEVER TOOK A BATH.
IT'S JUST SO BUT WE NEVER
REALLY GET TO HIS PSYCHOLOGY.
WE NEVER REALLY UNDERSTAND WHY
DOES THIS GUY LOVE SWIMMING?
HE HAS A SWIMMING
POOL BUILT EVERYWHERE HE GOES
AND HE DOESN'T TAKE A BATH?
TO ME THE TWO WERE KIND OF
RELATED, RIGHT?
[ Laughter ]
SWIMMING POOL,
BATHS.
I DON'T KNOW I JUST FIND IT
REALLY INTERESTING.
IN FACT, YOU KNOW, IT'S
STRANGE, JEREMY AND I WERE
TALKING ABOUT HOW WE CAME
REALLY CLOSE TO MAO'S CIRCLE
BUT WE DIDN'T KNOW IT THEN
BECAUSE PEOPLE DIDN'T TELL US
FOR INSTANCE UM, JEREMY WAS
SAYING THAT THE ROOMMATE OF THE
CANADIAN AMBASSADOR'S DAUGHTER
MARGARET SMALL WAS THE CANADIAN
AMBASSADOR'S DAUGHTER, SHE WAS
THERE WITH US SHE WASN'T PART
OF THE EXCHANGE PROGRAM BUT
BECAUSE SHE WAS THE
AMBASSADOR'S DAUGHTER SHE GOT
INTO THE SCHOOL.
SHE HAD A ROOMMATE AND JEREMY,
WHY DON'T YOU SAY?

Jeremy says I HEARD
SOMETHING I DON'T KNOW IF IT'S
TRUE SO I WOULDN'T--

Jan says OH, NEVER MIND, WE
DON'T CARE ABOUT TRUTH.

Jeremy says BUT I MEAN,
ONE OF THESE PEOPLE WAS
ACTUALLY ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE IN
THE CIRCLE.
SHE WAS IN THE PLA.
IN THE CIRCLE OF PEOPLE WHO
WERE BROUGHT IN TO READ TO MAO.

Jan says READ CLASSICAL.

Jeremy says HE COULDN'T
READ ANYMORE AND HE LIKED TO
READ CLASSICAL BOOKS SO HE HAD
PEOPLE COME IN AS HIS READERS.

Jan says BUT WE DIDN'T KNOW
IT THEN AND I HAD TWO
CLASSMATES WHO I DIDN'T KNOW
UNTIL LATER BUT THEY WERE YOUNG
WOMEN FROM THE KOGUN MILITARY
REGION PROPAGANDA SONG AND
DANCE TEAM AND THEY USED TO GO
AND PLAY FOR MAO UH, THE ZITHER
AND ONE OF THEM SANG.
AND UH, I DIDN'T KNOW UNTIL I
WENT BACK AS A REPORTER AND
LOOKED AT MY CLASSMATES AND
THEY FINALLY SAID DO YOU KNOW
WHAT THEY DID?
AND I KNEW THAT WHEN WE WERE IN
THE COUNTRYSIDE DOING HARD
LABOUR THESE TWO WOMEN WOULD
OFTEN JUST DISAPPEAR UH, FOR 10
DAYS AT A TIME AND WHAT THEY
WERE DOING WAS THEY WERE BEING
SUMMONED TO JUNG MAN HI WHERE
MAO LIVED IN BEIJING, THE OLD
IMPERIAL COMPOUND, AND THEY
WERE PERFORMING FOR THEM BUT I
DON'T KNOW WHETHER THEY WERE
SLEEPING WITH HIM AND YOU KNOW,
I SAID TO MY CLASSMATES, WELL,
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
AND OF COURSE IF YOU READ THIS
BOOK AND IF YOU READ THE--

Jeremy says LI ZHISUI.

Jan says YEAH, MAO'S
DOCTOR'S BOOK,
THE
PRIVATE LIFE OF
CHAIRMAN MAO
OF COURSE
THEY WERE SLEEPING WITH HIM.

Jeremy says IF HE CHOSE
THEM.

Jan says YEAH, WELL, HE
CHOSE THEM AND HE IN FACT SENT
THEM TO BEIJING UNIVERSITY THAT
IS ALL ADMITTED UH, HE -- HE
WROTE DOWN THAT THEY SHOULD
STUDY CHINESE HISTORY AND
THAT'S -- WE WERE IN THE
CHINESE HISTORY CLASS TOGETHER.
SO -- SO I COME THIS CLOSE TO
IT.
I COME SO CLOSE TO MAO AND ONE
REMOVED BUT I REALLY DON'T KNOW
MAYBE I'M JUST NAIVE.
I DON'T KNOW IF THEY WERE HIS
MISTRESSES OR WHATEVER UH, I
GUESS I'M NAIVE BECAUSE I THINK
MAYBE THEY WEREN'T.
I THINK HE WAS SO OLD.

Bernie says HEY, WATCH
IT.

Jan says I MEAN, I DON'T
KNOW.
HE COULD BARELY WALK AROUND,
YOU KNOW?
SO MAYBE HE JUST WANTED THEM TO
ENTERTAIN HIM.
BUT WHAT I'M SAYING IS HOW DO
YOU EVER KNOW THESE THINGS?
NOW LI ZHISUI, NOW WE'RE NOT
SUPPOSED TO TALK ABOUT HIS BOOK
BUT I'M TALKING ABOUT TRYING TO
EVALUATE A BOOK THAT MAKES
THESE CLAIMS.
I ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ON THE
DEFENSIVE BECAUSE PEOPLE SAY
WELL, THEY MUST'VE BEEN
SLEEPING WITH MAO AND I'M GOING
IF ALL THESE WOMEN WERE
SLEEPING WITH MAO WHERE ARE ALL
THE LITTLE MAO BABIES?

Jeremy says ZHANG YUFENG
HAD TWO.

Jan says YES.
ZHANG YUFENG HAD TWO AND IT'S
SO INTERESTING BECAUSE THEY
DON'T TALK TO HER REALLY IN
THIS BOOK.
SHE WAS THE WOMAN IN MAO'S LIFE
AT THE END AND IN FACT THEY
LEAVE OUT A LOT OF INTERESTING
PEOPLE.
THEY DON'T INTERVIEW SIDNEY
RITTENBURG WHO WAS A BIG TIME
AMERICAN MAOIST WHO WORKED AT
RADIO BEIJING AND PURGED PEOPLE
AND HE'S STILL AROUND.
YOU CAN TALK TO HIM, HE'S IN
THE STATES, HE'S WRITTEN HIS
OWN BOOK.
SO I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY THEY
DON'T TALK TO THESE PEOPLE.
THERE'S A LOT OF -- I HAVE LOT
OF OLD MAOIST FRIENDS IN
BEIJING STILL.
THEY SHOULD TALK TO THEM.
MAYBE MY FRIENDS WOULDN'T TALK
TO THEM.
THEY DON'T TALK TO ME.
I'M CONSIDERED NO LONGER
POLITICALLY FRIENDLY SO MY
MAOIST FRIENDS DON'T TALK TO
ME.
UH, BUT I UNDERSTAND AND I
FORGIVE THEM BECAUSE I WAS ONCE
A MAOIST, TOO BUT THE LAST
THING I'D LIKE TO SAY BEFORE WE
OPEN IT IS...
IF THIS BOOK IS TRUE THEN HOW
COME CHINA GOT AWAY WITH
MURDER?
HOW COME FOR ALL THESE DECADES
ITS IMAGE WAS FUZZY PANDAS YOU
KNOW, LIKE CHINESE FOOD,
EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO TO CHINA.
WHEREAS THE SOVIET UNION DIDN'T
GET AWAY WITH IT.
IF IT'S JUST AS BAD AS STALIN
HOW COME...
EVERYBODY WANTED TO GO ON A
YANGTZE RIVER BOAT CRUISE?
THAT'S A QUESTION I CAN'T -- I
CAN'T FIGURE THAT OUT BECAUSE I
DON'T THINK IT WAS THAT BAD.
I DON'T THINK IT WAS AS BAD
BECAUSE IT DOESN'T SQUARE WITH
MY EXPERIENCE IN CHINA AND IT
WAS A VERY POOR COUNTRY AND
YES, PEOPLE'S LIVES WERE VERY
HARD.
SO I THINK YOU HAVE TO TAKE ALL
OF THAT INTO ACCOUNT WHEN YOU
EVALUATE MAO.
(Background music:
Instrumental)

A slate reads "Does China need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission?"

Jan says YOU ASKED ABOUT
THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION IT
CAN'T HAPPEN RIGHT NOW BECAUSE
THE CHINESE REGIME IS OF COURSE
OF A PIECE.
ALL THOSE PEOPLE ARE ALL
CONNECTED.
TIANAMEN'S SQUARE, THE MASSACRE
AT TIANAMEN'S SQUARE IS ALL OF
A PIECE.
IT'S ALL THE SAME THING AND SO
IF CHINA BECOMES A DEMOCRACY I
THINK YES, THAT WILL BE THE
CHANCE FOR ARCHIVES TO OPEN UP.
THEY'LL LET PEOPLE COME IN AND
TALK AND PEOPLE LIKE MAO'S
FORMER GIRLFRIEND MAY FEEL FREE
TO WRITE A MEMOIR BUT RIGHT NOW
YOU CAN'T, YOU CAN'T SO WHAT...
IT'S UP TO PEOPLE LIKE JUNG
RONG TO WRITE THIS KIND OF
BIOGRAPHY BECAUSE I DON'T THINK
YOU COULD WRITE THIS KIND OF
BIOGRAPHY IN CHINA RIGHT NOW,
RIGHT?
THERE ARE LOTS OF BOOKS WRITTEN
IN CHINA BUT THEY -- THEY DON'T
STEP OVER THE LINE.
THERE IS A LINE AND THEY ALL
STAY WITHIN THE SAFE
PARAMETERS.

Jeremy says THE CHINESE
COMMUNIST PARTY HAS THEIR
EQUIVALENT OF THE TRUTH AND
RECONCILIATION COMMISSION.
IT'S NOT A TRUTH AND
RECONCILIATION COMMISSION AND
IT'S NOT AN OPEN SEEKING FOR
TRUTH.
IT'S CALLED THE HISTORICAL
RESOLUTION.
THEY HAD A HISTORICAL
RESOLUTION FOR THE SEVENTH
PARTY CONGRESS IN 1945 WHICH
DEALT WITH THE PERIOD OF MAO'S
RISE TO POWER AND THEY HAD
ANOTHER ONE IN 1981 WHICH DEALT
WITH THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION.
THEY LIKE TO CLOSE THE BOOKS ON
HISTORY AND THAT'S IN PART
PROBABLY ONE OF THE PROBLEMS
YOU ASKED ME WHY DID SHE WRITE
THIS BOOK I THINK SHE WROTE
THIS BOOK IN PART BECAUSE SHE'S
UNHAPPY WITH THAT PICTURE AND
SHE'S RIGHT TO BE UNHAPPY WITH
THAT PICTURE.
THE PROBLEM WITH THE BOOK IS
NOT THAT SHE WANTS TO READDRESS
THAT PARTICULAR PICTURE BUT SHE
AND HER HUSBAND MOVE INTO THE
EVILEST PERSON IN HISTORY
SWEEPSTAKES AND I THINK THAT
THAT'S A CHILDISH GAME.

Jan says I THINK SHE WROTE
THE BOOK FOR WESTERNERS.
I DON'T THINK SHE WROTE IT FOR
PEOPLE IN CHINA AS BERNIE
FROLIC SAID THERE'S NOT THAT
MANY REVELATIONS FOR THEM AND I
THINK JEREMY'S RIGHT THAT SHE
WANTS TO CHANGE PUBLIC OPINION
ON UM, MAO AND I THINK ALSO SHE
WAS LOOKING FOR A BIG BOOK.
SHE HAD SUCH A BIG BOOK THE
FIRST TIME AND THE WAY THE
PUBLISHING INDUSTRY WORKS IS
THEY GO BACK TO YOU BECAUSE YOU
HAD A BEST SELLER WELL, WHAT
CAN YOU WRITE ABOUT?
WHAT CAN YOU GIVE US NOW?
AND THEY PROBABLY SUGGESTED MAO
AND THEY PROBABLY THOUGHT ABOUT
IT AND THOUGHT SO THAT'S YOU
KNOW, I THINK SHE WROTE IT FOR
THE WEST.

Bernie says TO GET AT THE
TRUTH WHAT IS THE TRUTH THAT'S
A VERY COMPLICATED, VERY
COMPLEX THING.
A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T REALLY
WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE TRUTH.
THIS WAS A VERY SECRETIVE
ORGANISATION.
A SECRET SOCIETY FULL OF
SECRETS.
INFORMATION WAS A SCARCE GOOD
HOARDED BY THE LEADERSHIP TO BE
DOLED OUT FOR THOSE WHO WERE
PRIVILEGED TO NOW OPEN THINGS
UP AND TALK ABOUT THE PAST IS A
VERY PERILOUS JOURNEY EVEN IN
EASTERN EUROPE UH, IN POST 1989
POST CHANGING OF THE GUARD
FROM COMMUNISM THEY HAD BEEN
PROCEEDING IN SOME COUNTRIES
SOME MORE OPENLY THAN OTHERS
BUT VERY CAUTIOUSLY SO TRUTH
AND RECONCILIATION MAY BE
SOMETHING CLEARLY OUT OF THE
PICTURE FOR NOW AND UH, MAYBE
YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW IF
YOU'RE IN CHINA THAT YOU MAY
SUDDENLY SAY IT'S NOT JUST ONE
PERSON THAT'S VERY CONVENIENT
TO BLAME IT ON ONE PERSON, IT'S
A LOT OF PEOPLE.
AND A LOT OF PEOPLE FROM TOP TO
BOTTOM AND MAYBE YOU DON'T
WANNA KNOW ABOUT THAT AND MAYBE
YOU DON'T WANT TO PEER INTO THE
SOUL THAT SOMEBODY MENTIONED
QUITE SO DEEPLY BECAUSE YOU MAY
NOT WANT TO -- YOU MAY NOT LIKE
WHAT YOU FIND.

Watch: Mao Symposium: Jeremy Paltiel, Bernie Frolic and Jan Wong