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Insight with Jung Chang and Jon Halliday

The authors of Mao: The Untold Story speaks about the decade they dedicated to the research and writing of this monumental political biography.

“Ever since the spectacular success of Chang’s Wild Swans we have waited impatiently for her to complete with her husband this monumental study of China’s most notorious modern leader. The expectation has been that she would rewrite modern Chinese history. The wait has been worthwhile and the expectation justified. This is a bombshell of a book.”

– Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong, in The Times (London)

Based on a decade of research and on interviews with many of Mao’s close circle in China who have never talked before, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday’s Mao: The Untold Story offers a harrowing portrait of the Chairman’s ruthless accumulation of power through the exercise of terror. It is an entirely fresh - and at times controversial - look at Mao in both content and approach.

Jung Chang was born in Yibin, Sichuan Province, China, in 1952. She was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen and then worked as a peasant, a “barefoot doctor,” a steelworker, and an electrician before becoming an English-language student and, later, an assistant lecturer at Sichuan University. She left China for Britain in 1978 and was subsequently awarded a scholarship by York University, where she obtained a Ph.D. in linguistics in 1982 - the first person from the People’s Republic of China to receive a doctorate from a British university.

Her award-winning book, Wild Swans, was published in 1991. Neither it nor Mao have been published in China.

Join us, as Jung Chang and Jon Halliday speak about the decade they dedicated to the research and writing of this monumental political biography, and the year since its publication.


Jung Chang | talks
Jon Halliday | talks


Date and Time:

27 June 2006 at 7:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



The Frontline Club
13 Norfolk Place
W2 1QJ
020 7479 8950

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