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Mao's Last Dancer [Hardcover]

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
My parents, as newlyweds, lived with my father's six brothers, their wives, his two sisters and their children, a total of over twenty people crammed into a six-room house. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin May 30 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was captivated by this book. liked the characters and felt I learned a lot about the control put upon Chinese people by the regime. It was hard for me to imagine the extreme poverty and the cruel methods used to achieve excellence. I was also surprised by the extreme adoration given to Chairman Mao and his wife. I recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Living under a Communist regime April 13 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a most interesting story of life under a Communist system. It will make you feel like you are there with the author growing up under a very different political system than we in the western world will ever experience. Absolutely amazing how far a poor boy can go from living under an impoverished lifestyle to making it in the western world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars happy Feb. 4 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was very happy to be able to get this book that I had heard so much about. It arrived in good time and in good shape.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful "feel-good" story! Jan. 1 2009
I wasn't sure what to expect when my book club recently selected this book, and I had visions of reading horror stories and learning of the atrocities of life during Mao's regime.
It turned out to be quite the opposite -- it is a deeply personal, heart-warming story of family love and triumph over adversity. I did learn about life in China during this period, but the focus of the story was on the author's relationships and his discovery and subsequent struggle for personal freedom.
The book was engaging and inspiring, and I found myself crying and laughing out loud at times. I especially enjoyed his description of arriving in the US for the first time. A thoroughly enjoyable read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching story March 24 2004
By A Customer
A very quick and enjoyable read - not a dull moment. Very interesting to learn how the peasants of communist China lived and their delusions of this side of the world. I felt both inspired by his struggle to succeed and grateful for all those things we have that make our life far less arduous.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read it by the fire Dec 6 2011
This story struck a chord with me as I considered the fact that the writer was born in China within a year of my own Canadian birth. How different were our childhoods. It is gently and simply written, full of family memories in rural China and the whole Cultural Revolution experience as lived out by a child, teen, young man. The boy in this story led an extraordinary life, but kept his priorities right. His harsh childhood gave him the discipline needed to become a fabulous dancer. I bought the book for my parents who share with me a fascination for the nation of China. It is heartbreaking, yet full of passion and hope, and the most cherished of human possession--a loving family. Having read the biography of Chairman Mao, The Joy Luck Club, White Swans, some Pearl Buck novels, Life and Death in Shanghai, and books about Gladys Aylward, I found this book to broaden my understanding of what it is to be from China, this time through the life of one of my contemporaries. Read it by the fire this Christmas. It will warm your heart.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Maos last dancer Feb. 28 2011
By Invicta
I received a child's edition of this book. There was no prior indication that it was not the full adult version.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming story July 16 2004
By A Customer
Whilst this wasn't a great work of literature, the story was tender and embracing. I couldn't put it down and even on closing the book I was still left with the emotion of Li's life story.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An amazing political story.
It begins in 1961 .. not back in the 20's or 30's, when it would have been easier to believe such poverty was possible. Read more
Published on July 5 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous!
This book is wonderfully written, and once you start it, you will not be able to put it down. I know many Chinese people who grew up in China during Mao's Cultural Revolution and... Read more
Published on June 4 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars From Yams to Beijing
Mao's Last Dancer is the best book I've read in a while. It's a book that grabs you and pulls you into thier celebrations, and their traditions. Read more
Published on May 28 2004 by Hannah B. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb account of a glorious life
When my wife and I moved to Texas in the early 1980's, the Houston Ballet's performances were a refreshing antidote to the Southwest's unrelenting commercialism and fixation with... Read more
Published on May 20 2004 by Cap'n Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars an unforgettable journey
Li Cunxin skillfully, yet simply reaches out and tugs at our hearts with this unforgettable memoir about growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution. Read more
Published on April 23 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspriational Story of Escape from Poverty
I found this to be an extraordinary memoir. The book traces Cunxin Li's life growing up as a child under conditions of severe poverty in a small village during China's Cultural... Read more
Published on April 18 2004 by Bruce Western
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