From Dwight comes word that today is the 120th birthday of Mao Tse-Tung (aka Mao Zedong). Most people know he ruled Communist China and published his “Little Red Book” of quotations.
Fewer people know that he’s the greatest mass-murder in history, having killed somewhere between 65 million and 77 million of his own people. (Whether Hitler or Stalin comes in second depends on just how you apportion World War II deaths among them. Does the fact that Stalin waited a whole 16 days before helping Hitler dismember Poland absolve him of all blame for the final body count? I think not…) Between the mass collectivization famine of the Great Leap Forward, the subjugation of Tibet, and the Cultural Revolution, Mao was a very nasty piece of work indeed.
And his political heirs are still running China today.
Becker, Jasper. Hungry Ghosts: Mao’s Secret Famine. The Free Press, 1997.
Rummell, R. J. Death by Government. Transaction Publishers, 1994.
Werth, Nicolas; Panne, Jean-Louis; Paczkowski, Andrzej; Bartosek, Karel; Margolin, Jean-Louis; Courtois, Stephane. The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Harvard University Press, 1999.