January 10, 2006

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Mao was a bigger prick than I thought

From a review of The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis, in the Economist (sub req'd):

The reader learns, for example, how close the Americans came to winning the Korean war and creating a united, pro-western Korea. At one point Stalin seemed resigned to the defeat of North Korea. Mr Gaddis quotes him as “wearily” remarking: “So what. Let it be. Let the Americans be our neighbours.” The pro-western tide was turned only when Mao persuaded his own advisers that China must intervene, and sent 300,000 troops to support Kim Il Sung. Mao's baleful influence reappears in 1956. Khrushchev apparently agonised over whether to put down the Hungarian rebellion of that year, and his final decision to send in the troops was made partly “under pressure from Mao Zedong”.

posted by Simon on 01.10.06 at 01:28 PM in the China history, education & culture category.


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Hi, SImon,

Here is the ink to the New York Times review of this book, which also comments on page 2:

"If events in Cuba and Indochina gave Washington fits, the Soviet leaders, in their turn, were stymied by North Korea and driven to the point of apoplexy by Mao Zedong, who would traumatize Khrushchev by casually commenting that war with the United States might be an excellent idea."


posted by: Mad Minerva on 01.12.06 at 02:38 AM [permalink]

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