Alexander Pantsov is one of the few scholars to have gained exclusive access to the Russian State Archive's personal dossiers on Mao Zedong and other top members of the Chinese Communist Party. He teamed up with Steven Levine, a respected historian of modern China, to distill this new material in Mao: The Real Story. Frank Dikötter reports that the authors break new ground in some areas, but in other places they insist on presenting the Great Helmsman as a "multifaceted figure" with a good side. This lack of moral clarity fatally mars the book.
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