China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 1/4

In America and the rest of the West, most people believe that Mao was a monster worse that Adolf Hitler or Stalin and is responsible for killing at least 30 million people during what is known as China’s Great Famine.

In fact, many Chinese also believe that millions died of starvation during The Great Famine (1958 – 1961) due to Mao’s demanding production goals during China’s Great Leap Forward.

Until recently, I also believed this without doubt since that is all I have ever heard.

The details that may have caused this famine are not common knowledge and no attempt by the Western media has been made to reveal them.

However, after discovering what happened in China and the world during Mao’s Great Leap Forward, what was once a certainty (at least to me) is now a mystery and possibly another hoax equal to the hoax that Tibet was never part of China before 1950 and there was a massacre in Tiananmen Square in 1989, which Wiki Leaks recently proved wrong.

No mention of drought, floods and severe weather that cut crop yields, and the number of deaths quoted in the video cannot be supported with evidence. Evidence that does exist supports half the number.

Why Mao may have become scapegoat or victim of a hoax is worth examining.

The reason I say this is because in 1949 when Mao came to power, life expectancy in China was about 35, and then in 1960 life expectancy improved to about 60 or almost double what it had been in 1949, while the population of China increased by 19.5% with child mortality rates improving dramatically.

If Mao’s policies were responsible for these improvements in life expectancy and population growth, how could he also be the monster responsible for causing a famine that may have killed millions?

If a famine did occur, my research revealed that other factors may have contributed to the deaths and all but one of those factors did not deliberately cause people to die of starvation.

After learning of these other factors and completing the puzzle, it is obvious (at least to me) that Mao and the Communist Party did not order the deaths of 15 to 70 million people (the numbers quoted in the West vary widely because different people have made different claims without valid evidence to support those claims. There is evidence that supports the lower number.).

Before I started researching this post, I believed that Mao’s agricultural reform policies were mostly responsible for the famine, and then I learned that drought and severe weather also played a role in the famine.

Continued on September 1, 2011 in China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 2

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Recommended reading on this topic for those who seek the unblemished truth: From the Monthly Review, Did Mao Really Kill Millions in the Great Leap Forward? by Joseph Ball

From Griffith University, Australia, Poverty, by David C. Schak, Associate Professor


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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21 Responses to China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 1/4

  1. Mr. Chopstick, You make a big ado about “Peer Reviewed” material as if it were Gospel and the corner stone of truth.

    A good piece that examines the reality of “Peer Review” may be found at

    Here are a few pull quotes copied and pasted from the site (link provided above) to give you an idea that “Peer Review” doesn’t mean they are right. [I suggest clicking on the link and reading the entire piece].

    In fact, “Many of the individuals responsible for the world’s greatest discoveries and inventions were originally mocked and ridiculed by their peers. Among the more famous examples are Darwin’s discovery of evolution in the nineteenth century, the discovery of continental drift (also referred to as plate tectonics) by Alfred Wegener and others in the early 20th century, and the Wright brothers’ first heavier-than-air flights at Kitty Hawk in 1903.

    “Peer review is used extensively in a variety of professional fields, including academic and scientific research, medicine, law, accounting and computer software development.

    “In the case of peer reviewed journals, which are usually academic and scientific periodicals, peer review generally refers to the evaluation of articles prior to publication.

    “Despite its advantages, there have also been some criticisms of peer review.

    “Some critics believe that peer review has a built-in bias against highly original works and results because reviewers (as do people in general) tend to be more tolerant of works and results that are consistent with their own views and more critical of those that contradict them.

    “It should be kept in mind that history is replete with examples of innovations that were originally ridiculed by their peers because they contradicted the common wisdom of the day. The bias by academics against highly innovative work may be in part a result of the fact that they have vested interests in maintaining the status quo after having spent many years or decades supporting it.

    “Moreover, it has been suggested that peer review is not always good at detecting fraud, particularly in the case of articles submitted to scientific journals. One reason for this is that the reviewers often do not have immediate or full access to the data on which the articles are based (except perhaps in fields such as mathematics where it is easy to provide the data and attempt to replicate the results). However, longer term peer review (i.e., after the articles have been published) has proven to be much better at detecting fraud.”

    In addition, here are a few links and some pull quotes to posts about “Peer review and fraud”

    “Scientific fraud, however, is rampant amongst nearly all of the sciences and no “peer review” is immune. In fact, peer review is the problem.

    “This brings into question the so-called scientific process of peer review that is often cited as if it were holy writ and the end-all, be-all of truth. “It`s peer reviewed,” they scream when anyone questions their research or evidence. The rejoinder should ask, “Peer reviewed by whom?”

    “Peer review, however, has no such requirements. It is merely the opinion of the reviewing scientists who read the original work and give an editorial on it. No tests or double-checking of facts or methods are required. Basically, with peer review, someone writes a study paper and it is then sent to a group of scientific critics to either blast or praise it.

    “Professor Charlton is right. Peer review is bunk and is just editorializing in the name of science. It is because of this practice that the rampant fraud and misleading conclusions of scientific research is so prevalent today.”

    “The peer-review system is supposed to guarantee that published research is carried out in accordance with established scientific standards. Yet recently, an internal report from Lucent Technologies’ Bell Laboratories concluded that data in 16 published papers authored by researcher Hendrik Schön were fraudulent.”

    Why is the problem so rampant in the Peer-review community today? What can be done to fix this? What exactly is the concept behind “peer-review”, is it to pigeon hole any theory or paper that hasn’t been reviewed by these journals and/or assocations that are riddled with fraud? What exactly are the standards of peer-review, are they always applied, are they universal, and do they correct themselves generally on their own or does it require a whistle-blower/expose to get them to fess up on errors? What is the overall fraud rate in scientific research? Who are these scientists who are fed up with the “Iron grip” (Why do they call it an “iron grip”) of the establishment that are threatening an alternate peer review system?

  2. terry chen says:

    Chopstik, you claim that joseph ball is biased yet you readily believe all the western sources that are provided. While joseph ball may be a socialist, his analysis of facts and figures and his arguments are breathtaking. Every reporter and journalist is biased in some way. The problem here is that most of the published sources regarding the great leap forward are written by people are very opposed to Mao and socialism.

  3. Alessandro says:

    As also Mr. Lofthouse said, once u travel the world (I live in China, Mr. Chopsticks), going out of the usual “western emisphere”, including US, Europe, Australia and in a limited way Japan, u’d see and experience first hand, all the BS and propaganda that western media and, too many times, scholarly circles cover us with.

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