Winner of the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2011
Between 1958 and 1962, 45 million Chinese people were worked, starved or beaten to death.
Mao Zedong threw his country into a frenzy with the Great Leap Forward, an attempt to catch up with and overtake the Western world in less than fifteen years. It led to one of the greatest catastrophes the world has ever known.
Dikotter's extraordinary research within Chinese archives brings together for the first time what happened in the corridors of power with the everyday experiences of ordinary people, giving voice to the dead and disenfranchised. This groundbreaking account definitively recasts the history of the People's Republic of China.
'A masterpiece of historical investigation into one of the world's greatest crimes' New Statesman
Frank Dikötter is Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He has pioneered the use of archival sources and published a dozen books that have changed the way historians view China, from the classic The Discourse of Race in Modern China (1992) to his last book entitled The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, 1962-1976 (2016). His new book, Dictators and their Cult of Personality, is due for publication in September 2019. Frank Dikötter is married and lives in Hong Kong.