The Political Leadership of Mao Zedong

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of the former Chinese Communist Party leader Chairman Mao Zedong's political career (reigned 1949-1976), with regards to his success and failures. Mao was one of the most prominent Communist theoreticians who governed a quarter of humankind for a quarter of a century. His political philosophy, particularly his Method of Leadership, focusing on the "masses" is discussed here. The analytical arguments are centered on three phases of his leadership: the rise, the apex, and the fall. In the first phase, the paper attributes his victory before 1949 to his profound understanding of Chinese peasants. In the second phase, it elaborates on his successful method of leadership in the early 1950s. And in the third and last phase, it criticizes his disastrous political movements, particularly the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s. The study hopes to offer an objective and a balanced view of Chairman Mao, who had a complex personality and was a highly controversial figure in human history. The article also wishes to help readers gain a better understanding of China's top leader in recent history, and how China came to be what it is today.

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