Mao Zedong left a complicated legacy for his people and the rest of the world to comprehend. Considered a revolutionary theorist, a strong political leader and a powerful statesman, Zedong was also principally responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of his own countrymen.
Certainly many of Mao's actions do not qualify him for consideration as a public enemy, but there lingers the fact that during the Great Leap Forward, poor planning coupled with untimely natural disasters caused a surge in widespread famine that led to devastating death tolls. Estimates of the number of people who perished during the Great Leap Forward of the late 1950s and early 1960s vary immensely. Some estimates place the number at around 20 million, while other estimates soar to around 30 million [sources: Encyclopedia Britannica and CNN].
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