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4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
Wer sich dieses Buch des Historikers Frank Dikötter vornimmt, wird beeindruckt sein von der Gründlichkeit, Sorgfalt und den Ergebnissen seiner soliden Studie.
Der Autor zeigt ausgesprochen ansprechend und doch erschreckend, wie eine Utopie in China ein Unheil nach dem anderen hervorgebracht hat und statt blühender Landschaften den Menschen der (Hungers)Tod blühte ...

Mehr als 45 Millionen Menschen wurden der Utopie Mao Zedongs geopfert und führten so zu einem der schrecklichsten Desaster und Verbrechen des 20. Jahrhunderts, dem nur wenige Jahre später mit der Kulturrevolution in China das nächste Unrecht und Unheil folgte.

Das Buch beschreibt auf über 400 Seiten ausführlich die Jahre 1958 bis 1962 und fragt vielseitig nach Ursachen, Anlässen und Folgen.

Ein überaus ansprechendes und doch anstrengendes Buch über die Schattenseite einer Volksrepublik.

Sehr empfehlenswert!
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 25. Juni 2012
Between the years 1959 and 1961, 30 to 45 million people were starved, killed or worked to death as a result of Mao Zedong's failed attempt at industrialization in this period of the great leap.Frank Dikötter researched the catastrophe for years and documented his findings. It was h highly centralized mismanagement that can lead a country to disaster. All checks like tradition, family and religion were swept away leaving everybody, particularly the weak, exposed without restraint to cruelty, pure arrogance, boundless ignorance and a merciless disregard of farmers, workers and even party members.

I just knew just the basics of the big leap and the subsequent famine that hit the People's Republic around 1960. But Dikötter's painstaking research using newly opened local archives makes his estimate all too credible that the death toll reached 45 million people. The book opened my eyes, as the man-made disaster was on the scale of the Nazis, Stalin and Pol Pot, but different in a way as the intend supposedly was good in a 'we know better' attitude. When I read the book, I was reminded to the bureaucracy of the European Union. We don't get killed and starved yet (although the latter does happen in Greece), but the propaganda and the arrogance of the EURO-phil bureaucracy are very much the same. It is no coincidence, that many of the former and current EU leaders, those who pushed Maastricht treaty or the never ending crises measures through, against all good advice of experienced experts, were former admirer of Mao or even active Maoists. Their leadership performance during the EU crisis is of striking similarity, mismanagement runs Europe against the wall and destroys all tangible and non tangible assets.

Dikötter provides a detailed list of the degree of suffering this 'Great Statesman' unleashed and the inhumane manner in which his apparatus operated. Horrors pile up as he tells of the spread of collective farms and the vast projects that caused more harm than good and involved the press-ganging of millions of people into forced labour. As the pressure mounted to provide the all-powerful state with more and more output, the use of extreme violence became the norm, with starvation used as a weapon to punish those who could not keep up with the work routine demanded of them. The justice system was abolished. Brutal party cadres ran amok. 'It is impossible not to beat people to death,' one county leader said.

The inefficiency, waste and destruction in China were of course even more gigantic. The masses in whose name the Communist party claimed to rule were eminently disposable. The economic campaign used farmers and industrial workers as fodder expected to sacrifice themselves for the cause dictated from on high purposefully trying to get rid of the weak,the women, the children, the elderly. Cannibalism and people eating mud in search of sustenance, was the outcome of the famine caused by the Great Leaps failure and the diversion of labour from farming. Initially launched to enable China to overtake Britain and Russia, Mao's programme took a deadly turn, In order to maintaining food exports when the country was starving, the slogan was: 'When there is not enough to eat, people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.'

The book gives the details, but is extremely clearly written and presents the facts very structured: (1) The pursuit of Utopia; (2) Through the Valley of death; (3) Destruction; (4) Survival; (5) The Vulnerable; (6) Ways of Dying; The book starts slow and becomes a page turner but can also be accessed afterwards via a good index. It describes thourougly the Sino-Soviet split, and Mao's tricks to blame the Russians ( and other factors) for his own doing, after it was too late and the truth could not buried any more. As family bonds and every decency broke down, basically the whole country became on contraction camp. Methods were used in the cities, just like by the IG Farben in the second world war, working people to death in an unhealthy environment without pay and sometimes without food locked in the factory. Often there was not a direct intend to kill, but human were abundantly streaming to the factories. On the countryside dissidents or underachievers, even people who digged one potato became literally fertilizer. Kids were conveniently lost by mothers, women had to prostitute themselves or were routinely raped by in some provices by local authorities in great numbers.

The Cultural Revolution is widely remembered, the Great Leap much less so. When Maoists launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966, the Red Guards had little new to learn, as Frank Dikötter states. Stability returned to China with the Maoists' ouster in the late 1970s. Having gone through those two experiences, not to mention the mass purges that preceded them and the Beijing massacre of 4 June 1989, it is little wonder if the Chinese of today are set on a very different course that rejects ideology in the interests of material self-advancement but also religion is on the rise.

When I worked in Beijing during the late nineties I got invited by a local resident consultant (an expat) to a dinner party at a very chic ethnic event restaurant. She was a little bit esoteric, but knew her city. There was good food and even a better spirit. Expats and local people from all over China would dance after work together, even onetime doing some kind of polonaise. The open spirit, however, became immediately sober when a Mao Zedong-double entered the stage. The faces of the Chinese colleagues, of all Chinese, froze and some timidly touched the fabric of the actors costume, 20 years after Mao Zedong's death, as if to make sure that 'he' will not come back.

Recently, more than ten years later, I read this book of Frank Dikötter Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe . The book was selected as one of the Books of the Year in 2010 by The Economist, The Independent, the Sunday Times, the London Evening Standard (selected twice), The Telegraph, the New Statesman and the BBC History Magazine, and won the 2011 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, Britain's most prestigious book award for non-fiction.
I highly recommend to read it.
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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 11. Juli 2012
Sehr gutes Buch. Habe mich bereits als Student mit Maos Großem Sprung befasst, allerdings in der DDR mit beschränktem Infomaterial. Von richtiger Hungersnot war da aber keine Rede, wie bei den Linken im Westen auch nicht.
Hier nun die Fakten über die linke Arroganz mit millionenfachem Tod. Mao, Stalin, Hitler. Über die Reihenfolge der Massenmörder lässt sich weiter streiten.
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