China Seminar | 8 December 2005

Mao: Myth or Monster--A new look at the founder of the People's Republic

John Roderick John Roderick

John Roderick covered China for the Associated Press from 1945 to 1984. He continues after retirement to write occasionally about China and Asia. Between 1945 and 1947 he spent seven months with Mao Zedong and his fellow revolutionaries in their cave capital of Yanan, reporting the failed U.S. negotiations to bring the Nationalists and Communists together in a coalition government. During that time he saw Mao almost daily, wrote at length then and later about him and his fellow Marxists.

The publication of a new, highly critical book by Jung Chang, best-selling author of Wild Swans, has raised new questions about Mao’s place in the history of modern China.

Mr. Roderick will have just returned from his annual sojourn in Japan, where his minka residence sits serenely amidst the autumnal hues of the Kamakura hills. The China Seminar, where he has imparted unforgettable wit and wisdom, welcomes him back to Honolulu’s warmth in winter.