The Questionable Private Life of Chairman Mao: Part 2 of 5

Eighty-nine percent of the Amazon reviews of Dr. Li’s memoir of Mao earned 4 and 5-star reviews giving the book a 4.5 out of 5-star average. Before reviewing the book, it would have helped if the readers knew more about Dr. Li’s life.

Dr. Li Zhisui (1919 – 1995), attended West China Union University in Chengdu now known as Sichuan University that’s one of the oldest in China.

Soon after graduating from the university as a Western trained medical doctor in his mid-twenties, Li fled China in the 1940s to escape the ravages and dangers of the war and he ended up working as a ship’s surgeon out of Sydney, Australia.

In 1949, The Lecturn reports, “Madly enthusiastic about the Communist victory in 1949, he gives up a promising young career in Australia to take part in the efforts to rebuild China after a century of warfare and internal struggle…”

Since Mao officially declared an end to the Cultural Revolution in 1969 [its active phase lasted until the death of the military leader Lin Bao in 1971], we may assume that Dr. Li returned to Beijing from the destitute village in Zhejiang Province and/or rural Jiangxi Province mentioned in Part 1 of this five part series, where the doctor was sent in 1965 as part of the Socialist Education Program.

By this time, Dr. Li may have become a bitter man as we discover when we read his opinions in Around the Bend With Mao Zedong.

“As Dr Li presented it, the Socialist Education Program amounted to an elaborate waste of time … given the disparity between the living standards of the city people and the poor-beyond-all-imagination villagers.”

Mao held power in China for twenty-seven years but Dr. Li spent only eight of those years with Mao (less than 34-percent). That does not sound like someone that was with Mao every day he was in power.

How do we know that Li did not become Mao’s doctor until 1957?

In 1995, two years before the British gave Hong Kong back to China, a Chinese language book was published in Hong Kong. It was called Lishi de Zhenshi: Mao Zedong Shenbian Gongzuo Renyuan de Zhengyan. Translated that means The Truth of History: Testimony of the personnel who had worked with Mao Zedong.

Three people who had known Mao personally wrote that book. One was his personal secretary Lin Ke. The second person was his personal doctor from 1953 to 1957, Xu Tao, and the third person was his chief nurse from 1953 to 1974, Wu Xujun.

The three authors argued in this Chinese language book that Dr. Li didn’t know Mao that well, and Li presented an inaccurate picture of Mao in his obviously flawed memoir. The trio attacked Li’s claim that he had been Mao’s personal physician in 1954 and presented copies of a document from Mao’s medical record showing that Li only took on the responsibility of caring for Mao on June 3, 1957.

Continued on September 21, 2017 in Part 3 or return to Part 1

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

Where to Buy

Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

21 Responses to The Questionable Private Life of Chairman Mao: Part 2 of 5

  1. I have no clue nothing but America has a huge difference between China vs U.S. A

    • There are huge differences.

      The two biggest ones are the size of China’s population and the history of its culture. The foundation for Europe and the Americas is based mostly on the Christian religion, the ancient Greeks, and the Roman Empire. The concept of the democratic republic comes from the Greeks and Romans but democracy has never lasted longer than a few hundred years, about 400, before it collapses into an authoritarian state.

      China’s foundation is based on Confucious thought, Buddhism, and Taoism. Most Chinese don’t think the same as most Westerners, and religion in China does not have an influence on government.

      Confucious had rules for the people and those rules were based on respect for your elders and your leaders.

      China is a collective culture. What is best for the most people is more important than what is best for the individual.

      The United States is an individualistic culture and individualistic rights.

      • Lloyd fundation is basically king of for instance .
        The Chinese wall and the wall that is on protect between U.S.A / MEXICO have something in common with The Chinese wall ?
        The idea could be copy for U. S .A for what ? That is my question I have no clue the Chinese wall is great right ?

      • There is no comparison for the reason that China build the Great Wall vs Trump’s Wall to keep anyone that lives south of the U.S. Southern border out.

        Before China was one nation, there were walls built more than 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. China didn’t build the Great Wall to keep out undocumented immignrants fleeing poverty and violence who were looking for a place to work hard and have a better, safer life.

        China built the Great Wall to keep out the northern horsemen, the Mongols, and the Manchu, who raided and invaded China often burning villages, killing people, taking slaves, raping women, robbing anyone that had anything. Eventually, the Mongols conquered all of China in the 13th century and ruled it for about 80 years before the Chinese rebelled and drove them out. After the Chinese drove out the Mongols, they rebuilt the Great Wall stronger than ever. The Great Wall was there to keep out invaders not to keep out peaceful people who wanted jobs and a safe place to live.

      • Lloyd Thanks very much . Very interet and sad at the same time because the mongoleses if I remember that they were very violent and evils , never I study the Chinese culture, I was very busy studying in Cuba when Russia was the union Soviet, only we they let us learn 2 things . The Soviet and Cuban solicitor field were the good ones and USA was an evil country, but I arrived in America after graduating . I graduated as a boat Captain at the Russians at the naval base which was located next to the hotel the old man and the sea dedicated to the ecritor Jornslist Ernest hermingay . I studied at last level and then escaped to this country when Bill clinton was the president in the low of the year 1990. Here my children were born and they were free until about 4 years ago as you well know that Donald Trump is not to my liking like president and the Chartets schools destroyed the peace of my family. DeVos and Trump privite sector. or Devil and Demon want to build a great wall so that public schools have no way out. It is interesting that the Mongols were 80 years old and the Chinese revealed they were taken out and built the great Chinese wall. How many years ago did chartters schools begin to take over education and want to slave it? Could a revelation against the leaders who support the private sector (Charters suporters) Exterminate that ideology the choice? i mean force and make the public school system take the control as the Chinese could do when they kick out the mongoleses?

      • The Mongols weren’t evil. They were just the way they were. It’s what their culture was. A nomadic, warlike people similar to people similar to them throughout history like the American planes Indians: the Commanchies, the Sioux, etc.

      • Evils do that !

        China built the Great Wall to keep out the northern horsemen, the Mongols, and the Manchu, who raided and invaded China often burning villages, killing people, taking slaves, raping women, robbing anyone that had anything.

      • What you refer to as evil is defined by a civilization of cities, organized religions, lots of rules, and an agricultural system for food.
        Nomads like the Mongols, the Manchus, the North American plains indians were a different culture and to survive it meant being warlike to defend the territory they depended on for their survival.The nomads did not have organized religion with written rules of behavior. They did not have agriculture to feed them. They did not live in cities where even more rules existed.

        Evil is relative to the society and culture you grow up in. Nomadic tribes and/or clans dominated the Earth for almost 192,000 years before the advent and invention of agriculture and walled cities. The cities created civilizations that lived by a different set of beliefs and rules.

      • Lloyd any way to kill is bad, excuses are those that are used based on whether it is true mankind, including China, U.S.A or the entire planet . If Mongols weren’t evils what is the definition of the word evil ?

      • Then we who live in the US and pay taxes are guilty as the Devil. Millions of civilians died in North Korea, in Vietnam, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Laos, in Cambodia et al. from U.S. bombs and bullets.

        Evil in Western society that is dominated by Christianity is what the leaders of Chrisitan religions tells us what the Bible says is evil, buyt the often do not tell the whole story. If we go by the Bible to define evil, it should be okay to own concubines and have slaves. That should not be evil.

        For instance,

        “Slave wives were acquired in much the same way slaves were acquired in general. Sometimes slave women were captured as prisoners of war and later converted to concubines (Deuteronomy 21:10-14). Sometimes poor women whose fathers, brothers or husbands had died sold themselves as concubines so they could be taken care of. A man could sell his daughter as a slave to another man (Exodus 21:7-11). That man could either continue to use her only as a servant or he could convert her to his concubine or give her as a concubine to one of his sons. Once a woman was converted to the status of a concubine she had the right to have sex with her husband. Being a concubine in many ways was a step up for a slave woman.”

        “Also it was common for fathers to give their daughters slave girls (hand maids) as gifts as was the case with Rachel and Leah. In many households the free wives ruled over the slaves wives while ultimately the husband was the master of the entire home. Sometimes free wives would give their husband their hand maids to produce more sons as we see in the case of Rachel giving her servant Bilhah to Jacob and Leah giving her servant Zilpah to Jacob(Genesis 30:4-9). It interesting to note that Leah stated God had rewarded her by reopening her womb and giving her another son “because I have given my maiden to my husband”.”

      • God does not make mistakes, God is not Evil, humanity has been teaching that God is the cause of human suffering and that is misleading what the Bible teach, that is another evil plan!

      • When the battle is fear it is when you are not attacked defenseless any battle that wins an evil I win it using evil plans. China, U.S.A, Russia, UK; France need to sit down and talk about how to avoid a war superior to that of the Mongols, we are talking about a third world war. The history and pass is interesting but the present is real and the future is bleack. What the world can do?

      • The era of the nomadic tribes and clans ended over most of the Earth centuries ago. We live by different rules today.

      • What rules ? The’r is not rule today Lloyd

      • God decides what is evil and good. Not religions. God warned us about false prophets. Christianity and Islam have caused a lot of death and suffering in the world. Christians have fought wars with Christians and Muslims. Muslims have fought wars with Muslims and Christians. What if Christianity and Islam are both false prophets?

        1 John 4:1 ESV
        Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

      • I love learn from you from education, cultures etc , etc ,
        I have a lot of respect for you you are great person a genius
        I can’t handle your knowledges my mind is battling agains Charters rulers , teach me how to check mate then . Please .

      • Find a local group that is standing up to Charters and join that group. If you agree with how they are fighting back, do what they do. Volunteer when you can. Join protests. Carry a sign on a stick. March.

      • Thanks very Much Lloyd

      • We start with China and mongol and now we came back to our realty here in U. S. A IS WHERE IS NEED IT A GOOD PLAN
        You are a very intelligent gentleman and you have lived and fought what few have done. My army is underdog because I am alone against evils rules who run this City as the Mayor City has been stolen tax-payer money , he have stolen the money that the tax-payers proven for students and the charter school of Major Hialeah Education Academic. Inc. is destroying the good education with your money and my money . What we can do ?
        What China is going to do ?
        IS our business Lloyd

      • As individuals without great wealth, there is little we can do by ourselves. That’s why there are organizations to join and/or donate money to like NAACP, LULAC, labor unions, ACLU, etc.

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: