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The Myth of Mao Zedong and Modern Insurgency

Authors: Grice, Francis

  • Highlights how the strategies and tactics used by later insurgent groups diverged substantially from Mao’s teachings and made no real effort to truly incorporate his theories into their own conflicts
  • ​Incorporates some of the latest scholarly research about Mao Zedong, including new evaluations of his actions during the Chinese Revolutionary Civil War
  • Involves and bases its arguments upon a comprehensive, rigorous, and evidence-based analysis of all of Mao’s writings, providing a much more thorough and accurate portrayal of his teachings, the problems within them, and their muted relevance and applicability for future insurgencies
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eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-77571-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-77570-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Tackling one of the most prevalent myths about insurgencies, this book examines and rebuts the popular belief that Mao Zedong created a fundamentally new form of warfare that transformed the nature of modern insurgency. The labeling of an insurgent enemy as using “Maoist Warfare” has been a common phenomenon since Mao’s victory over the Guomindang in 1949, from Malaya and Vietnam during the Cold War to Afghanistan and Syria today. Yet, this practice is heavily flawed. This book argues that Mao did not invent a new breed of insurgency, failed to produce a coherent vision of how insurgencies should be fought, and was not influential in his impact upon subsequent insurgencies. Consequently, Mao’s writings cannot be used to generate meaningful insights for understanding those insurgencies that came after him. This means that scholars and policymakers should stop using Mao as a tool for understanding insurgencies and as a straw man against whom to target counterinsurgency strategies.

About the authors

Francis Grice is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies at McDaniel College, Maryland, USA.

Reviews

“The Myth of Mao is a work of great insight and originality, a bold, iconoclastic thrust into the insurgency-counterinsurgency literature that has proliferated in recent years, as well as a challenge to the traditional myth of the foundations of Communist China. Incredibly, it seems, until now few had bothered to check whether Mao deserves his laurels as an insurgency guru proffering gifts for would-be rebels and cautionary lessons for would-be suppressors. It turns out that he was no visionary, failing himself to apply ‘Maoist’ principles but managing to fool succeeding generations. At last, we now have a comprehensive study written by someone who has actually read what he said, studied what he did, and succinctly made sense of what it all means. Finally, Mao’s bluff has been called.” (Ashley Jackson, Professor of Imperial and Military History, Defence Studies Department, King's College London, and Visiting Fellow, Kellogg College Oxford, UK)

“In this provocative and brilliantly argued book, Francis Grice challenges the idea of Mao as a landmark innovator in guerrilla warfare. Through close analysis of Mao’s voluminous writings, Grice punctures his reputation as an original thinker, and critiques his influence on later generations of insurgents. This is a major contribution to the scholarly literature on insurgencies, and a convincing, sustained assault on the myth of Mao.” (Kenneth Payne, Senior Lecturer, King's College London, and Senior Member, St Antony's College, Oxford, UK)

“Through meticulous research and incisive analysis, Francis Grice presents an evocative account of Maoist teachings in the context of insurrectionary warfare. Grice uproots existing and often overstated accounts of the role and significance that Mao played in writing the recipe for successful modern insurgency. From the Chinese Revolutionary Civil War, Grice extends the prism of analysis about the impacts of Maoist teachings to wars of rebellion in distant theaters. This book compels scholars and readers of general interest alike to undertake a profound rethink of the impact that Maoist thought has had on subsequent violent and anti-authority efforts that have taken place since the early 20th century.” (Scott N. Romaniuk, editor of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Modern War)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Grice, Francis

    Pages 1-9

  • What Mao Actually Taught

    Grice, Francis

    Pages 11-59

  • The Unoriginal Mao

    Grice, Francis

    Pages 61-98

  • Mao and the Chinese Revolutionary Civil War

    Grice, Francis

    Pages 99-143

  • The Insignificant Mao

    Grice, Francis

    Pages 145-185

Buy this book

eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-77571-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-77570-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Myth of Mao Zedong and Modern Insurgency
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-77571-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-77571-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-77570-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XI, 219
Topics