Mao Zedong (1893-1976) ruled China from 1949 until his death in 1967, sprucing
up the nation with several teenage revolutions and great leaps backward and
forward. Mao's Communists and Chiang Kai Shek's Nationalists fought tenaciously
against the Japanese invaders in the 1930s and early 1940s, then fought more
tenaciously against each other in the civil war of the late 1940s. Mao's victory
in 1949 can safely be called a mixed blessing. Though Mao's cult of personality
strong, he did not establish a blood dynasty, and the future of Maoism in
China is questionable at best.