“Dikötter never allows his intense account to degenerate into melodrama. Networks of power and information are carefully traced, revealing a movement that spiralled into general score-settling on such a scale that Mao and his allies had only intermittent control … A fascinating account of how people twisted or resisted the aims of Mao's movement” –  Daily Telegraph

“Definitive and harrowing” –  Roger Lewis, Book of the Week, Daily Mail

“Magnificent ... The author gives full acknowledgement to memoirs and scholarly works but it is his own archival research, allied to a piercing critique, that lifts the book to a higher level. He has mastered the details so well that with the most sparing use of description he weaves a vivid tapestry of China at the time … This brilliant book leaves no doubt that Mao almost ruined China and left a legacy of paranoia that still grips its modern dictatorship under the latest autocrat, Xi Jinping” –  Michael Sheridan, Sunday Times

“The murderous frenzy of the times, which tore apart friends and families, not to speak of the Communist party itself, is powerfully conveyed” –  Book of the Week, The Times

“Given the tortuous nature of the event, what contribution does Frank Dikötter's new book make to our understanding of the Cultural Revolution? The answer is an immense one. He sheds important new light on what has long been a dark (in several respects) period in Chinese history ... The Cultural Revolution exposes, in measured prose and well-documented analysis, the impact of communist rule in a period of extraordinary stress, tension and violence, most of it unleashed by the Party itself. Together, these three books, which Dikötter calls the 'People's Trilogy', constitute a major contribution to scholarship on modern China, one that is unequalled, certainly in the English language … There is something simply unanswerable about many of his judgments on the effects of almost seventy years of communism in China. Much of this has to do with his use of documents from official archives in China, to which access is difficult … his patience and endurance must be considerable and his Chinese-language skills formidable …. both revealing and rewarding reading – for specialists and non-specialists alike” –  Literary Review

“Gripping, horrific … A significant event in our understanding of modern China” –  International New York Times

“A fine, sharp study of [a] tumultuous, elusive era … Excellent follow-up to his groundbreaking previous work … Dikötter tells a harrowing tale of unbelievable suffering. A potent combination of precise history and moving examples” –  Kirkus

“Outstanding” –  The Week

“Searing” –  Irish Times

“During 10 years of insanity, between 1.5m and 2m people lost their lives. It is all chillingly documented in Frank Dikotter's brilliant new book” –  Niall Ferguson, Sunday Times

“Magisterial” –  New Statesman

“His “people's trilogy” … has been hailed as the seminal English language work on the subject. The trilogy's enduring value lies in its unstinting description of the horrors of life under Mao … Dikötter has done much to ensure that we see the full horror of what happened under Mao” –  Sunday Times

“A significant event in our understanding of modern China” –  Scotland on Sunday

“It includes colourful sketches of famous individuals, a fast-paced account of key political events, and some interesting discussions of how ordinary people experienced and contributed to specific Cultural Revolution episodes … Impressive chapters on the early 1970s that explore and celebrate grassroots developments” –  Financial Times

“A detailed, sober, bleak reminder of the horror and chaos unleashed by Mao Zedong” –  Tablet

“Superb” –  Tribune

“What sets Dikötter apart from many other historians of this period is his obsession with detail and insistence on bringing the story back to the individual account … The level of research in Dikötter's book is astonishing ... but the book wears this research lightly, with the human story coming through strongly” –  Irish Times

“Dikötter's well-researched and readable new book on the Cultural Revolution's causes and consequences is a crucial reminder of the tragedies, miscalculations and human costs of Mao's last experiment” –  Guardian

“A tragic and salutary history” –  Catholic Herald

“The concluding volume of Dikotter's superb trilogy on Mao Tse-tung's China is deeply disturbing” –  Sunday Times

“An eye-opener and a page-turner” –  Daily Mail