'The most authoritative and comprehensive study of the biggest and most lethal famine in history.  A must-read.' - Jung Chang, author of Mao: The Unknown Story

'By managing to gain access to unplumbed regional Chinese archives and other new materials, Frank Dikötter has helped throw back the shroud on this period of monumental, man-made catastrophe. With both narrative vigor and scholarly rigor, Mao's Great Famine documents how Mao Zedong's impetuosity was the demise of tens of millions of ordinary Chinese who perished unnecessarily in this spasm of revolutionary extremism.' - Orville Schell, former Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley

'Mao's Great Famine is a gripping and masterful portrait of the brutal court of Mao, based on new research but also written with great narrative verve, that tells the riveting story of the man-made famine that killed 45 million people from the dictator and his henchmen down to the villages of rural China.' - Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar 

'A direct, hard-hitting study of China’s Great Leap Forward in light of newly opened archival material… A horrifically eye-opening work of a dark period of Chinese history that desperately cries out for further examination.' - starred review from Kirkus Reviews

'Harrowing and brilliant… this is the book that changes your life.' - Ben Macintyre, The Times, 9 July 2011

'Some books are destined to be so influential that they recast history in the public mind. Mao’s Great Famine is one such book.' - Jeffry Babb, National Observer, 31 January 2011

'Pathbreaking... a first-class piece of research... [Mao] will be remembered as the ruler who initiated and presided over the worst man-made human catastrophe ever. His place in Chinese history is assured. Dikötter’s book will have done much to put him there.' - Roderick MacFarquhar, The New York Review of Books, 20 January 2011

'The scope of the text is enormous... this book tells the story in vivid detail ' - Steven Yearley, Food Security, 15 January 2011

'Meticulous research in clear and readable prose... a damning portrayal of a man and a government leading their country into a period of intolerable, widespread and unnecessary suffering.' - Alfred Romann, China Economic Review, 14 January 2011

'Reading Frank Dikötter's book now is a chilling experience... In 2011 as in 1958, the end justifies the means - and the deaths.' - Crawford Kilian, The Tyee, 3 January 2011

'[A] tour of the follies, inefficiencies, and deceptions of Mao’s commandeered economy…[a] vivid catalogue of horrors…Focussing relentlessly on Mao’s character and motivations, Dikötter confirms the man’s reputation as sadistic, cowardly, callous, and vindictive….[a] bold portrait.' - Pankaj Mishra, The New Yorker, 20 December 2010

'A heroic piece of research, by a professor at the University of Hong Kong who has been using the newly available Chinese archives. He focuses on how 55m died because of one man’s folly. Devastating in every sense of the word.' - The Economist, 2 December 2010

'In terrifying detail, Dikotter elucidates the cult-like world of Maoism and the sycophancy of the Chairman’s inner circle…[a] masterpiece of historical investigation.' - Michael C. Moynihan, Commentary, 1 December 2010

'[This] extraordinarily detailed account provides an avalanche of depressing statistics and personal stories to demonstrate the impact of the utopian policies of Mao and his comrades... iconoclastic.' - Grant Evans, Inside Story, 22 November 2010

'Mao's Great Famine is a lucid presentation of precisely the central tenets of communism in action... exhaustive.' -Matthew Robertson, The Epoch Times, 19 November 2010

'Astounding... "Mao's Great Famine" makes for very grim reading in parts. But the sheer volume of previously hidden facts allows a much clearer and more damning picture to emerge, making a critical contribution to Chinese history.' - Ilaria Maria Sala, The Wall Street Journal, 11 November 2010

'Groundbreaking' - Frank Bures, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 9 November 2010

'The short point that Mao’s Great Famine makes is that China, the world’s largest economy after the United States, was not so long ago a bumbling dictatorship... Frank Dikotter’s book is a reminder of the mess that was China’s recent past.' - Bhupesh Bhandari, Business Standard, 3 November 2010

'Based on careful archival forensics, Dikötter concludes that the death toll of the Great Leap Forward was at least 45 million, instead of the 30 million previously generally accepted. His relentlessly clinical, morally intense account of filth, disease, and hunger is both fascinating and numbing.' - Andrew J. Nathan, Foreign Affairs, 3 November 2010

'[A]n astounding portrayal of the human suffering behind China’s ‘Great Leap Forward... in Mao’s Great Famine, historian Frank Dikötter assembles a treasure chest of these historic facts, but more important, he strokes them together into a masterly and memorable story.' - Geoffrey Cain, Christian Science Monitor, 2 November 2010

'Haunting... Dikötter succeeds in his dark task of cataloguing the awesome scale of the crime.' - Peter Duffy, The New Republic, 27 October 2010

'《毛的大饑荒》一書,依據中共的檔案文獻推算出至少有四千五百萬人在這個瘋狂的運動中喪生,可算是開山之作.' - 傅建中, 中國時報 (The China Times), 8 October 2010

'Well-written.. Dikotter eviscerates all of these excuses and many more in building a richly sourced indictment of Mao and the CCP.' - Jeff Kingston, The Japan Times, 2 October 2010

'Here is a horror story from start to finish that you find hard to believe but are compelled to do so simply because of the depth and range of the research that has gone into the making of the study.' - V V, Business Standard, 2 October 2010

'a fine book' - Michael Burleigh, Standpoint, 29 September 2010

'The story of a nation mobilised to create communist Utopia though the fast transformation of industry and agriculture, defeated by official corruption and incompetence at the cost of 45 million lives, is told here in detail and with honest outrage.' - Iain Finlayson, The Times, 27 September 2010

'[Uses] a wealth of recently released material... Books like his may help force the atrocities, and the debate, back to the surface' - Isaac Stone Fish, Newsweek, 26 September 2010

'a brilliant work, backed by painstaking research... it has taken 50 years for a professional scholar like Dikötter to examine the Chinese famine in a major book.' - Jasper Becker, The Spectator, 23 September 2010

'[A] fluent style makes this account a riveting read.' - Siobhan Murphy, Metro, 22 September 2010

'Dikötter has pulled off the rare feat of amassing vast swathes of previously unknown detail from provincial archives, while managing to maintaining mastership over both the book's narrative flow and the clarity of his prose.' - Nick Donovan, Aegis: Preventing Crimes Against Humanity, 21 September 2010

''One of this year’s essential history books and a timely corrective to the uncritical welcoming by many western journalists of China’s growing power.' - Paul Lay, History Today, 17 September 2010

'Using first-hand reports from party archives that have opened in the past few years, Mao's Great Famine is a masterpiece of historical investigation into one of the world's greatest crimes. Writing throughout in a sober and restrained style that only highlights the horror of the events it records, Dikötter shows in rigorous detail how responsibility for the disaster must be traced back directly to Mao.' - John Gray, New Stateman, 20 September 2010

'As Frank Dikotter's "Mao's Great Famine" reveals, the Chairman became a demented megalomaniac who laughed his way through the deaths of more than 45 million Chinese.' - Swapan Dasgupta, The Times of India, 12 September 2010

'Dikotter is on the way to becoming a sort of A.J.P. Taylor of modern Chinese history... a magnificent book that will set new scholarly standards.' - Bradley Winterton, The Taipei Times, 12 September 2010

'[U]ses newly opened archives and original interviews to detail the calamity in calm, if unavoidably grisly, detail.' - Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, 7 September 2010

'Mao's Great Famine traces the story of how Mao Zedong's drive for absurd targets for farm and industrial production and the reluctance of anyone to challenge him created the conditions for the countryside to be emptied of grain and millions of farmers left to starve.' - Mark O'Neill, South China Morning Post, 5 September 2010

'A work of brilliant scholarship finally reveals the full extent of the horrors visited on the Chinese people by Mao during the Great Leap Forward... Meticulous.. It is hard to exaggerate the achievement of this book in proving that Mao caused the famine.' - Michael Sheridan, The Sunday Times, 5 September 2010

'Frank Dikötter has written a masterly book that should be read not just by anybody interested in modern Chinese history but also by anybody concerned with the way in which a simple idea propagated by an autocratic national leader can lead a country to disaster, in this case to a degree that beggars the imagination... The book is extremely clearly written, avoiding the melodrama that infused some other recent broadbrush accounts of Mao's sins... Dikötter's superb book pulls another brick from the wall.' - Jonathan Fenby, The Observer, 5 September 2010

'In terms of Mao's reputation this book leaves the Chairman for dead, as a monster in the same league as Hitler and Stalin... the best and last word on Mao's greatest horror... Frank Dikötter has put everyone in the field of Chinese studies in his debt, together with anyone else interested in the real China. Sooner or later the Chinese, too, will praise his name.' - Jonathan Mirsky, The Literary Review, 3 September 2010

'Gripping... Prof Dikotter's painstaking analysis of the archives shows Mao’s regime resulted in the greatest "man-made famine" the world has ever seen.' - Paul Callen, The Daily and Sunday Express, 3 September 2010

'Brave and brilliant' - Gavin Bowd, The Scotland on Sunday, 29 August 2010

'After Mao’s Great Famine, Frank Dikotter's chronicle of how that regime killed at least 45 million people in what he calls the greatest man-made famine the world has seen, no one will have any excuses for modish Maoism... Such was the efficiency of Maoist terror that no photos of the famine are known to exist, Dikotter says. Yet the facts are enough, and nothing you read will be so harrowing. The inhumanity of man, ideological man especially, scorches every page... a shattering book... Dikotter has done a service to history and, when they are allowed to read it, to the Chinese themselves.' - George Walden, Bloomberg, 29 August 2010

'[A]n intensively researched litany of suffering, packed with statistics, grim anecdotes, and self-serving explanations by leaders responsible for the devastation.' - Publishers Weekly, August 2010

'Aided by newly released historical documents detailing the savage infighting and backstabbing of those in power and the extent of the nationwide damage, Dikötter has produced one of the best single-volume resources on the topic. Although a scholarly, heavily footnoted work, its flowing narrative—effectively a cautionary tale on the destructive powers of misguided ambition and blind hubris—reads well. Recommended for specialists as well as interested general readers.' - Glenn Masuchika, Library Journal, 15 August 2010

'[A]n important work illustrating the dangers of one individual holding power to force millions to fulfil his personal fantasies.' - Jay Freeman, Booklist, August 2010

'This book is a grim, mesmerizing, astonishing account of those terrible years, when officials reported record-breaking harvests even as ordinary folk scavenged meat from the corpses of their neighbors... Mao’s reputation as "a great revolutionary" who "made some mistakes" will not survive the publication of this book. He was, as Frank Dikötter makes devastatingly clear, one of the great monsters of world history. China has yet to come to terms with his legacy.' - John S. Major, History Book Club, August 2010

'A direct, hard-hitting study of China's Great Leap Forward in light of newly opened archival material… A horrifically eye-opening work of a dark period of Chinese history that desperately cries out for further examination.' - starred review from Kirkus Reviews, 15 June 2010