Frank Dikötter


On his book Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962

Cover Interview of October 20, 2010

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“There were 45 million premature deaths, not 30-32 million, and many were deliberately killed”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“China became the site also of the greatest demolition of real estate in human history, as up to a third of all housing was turned into rubble.”

On the second:

“Nothing illustrates the desperation for food quite as well as the eating of mud by starving villagers.”

A few months after the interview’s publication, Mao’s Great Famine won the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.