Name: Jon Halliday
Bio: Former Senior Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College, University of London and co-author of Mao: The Unknown Story
Writing About Mao
This speech was printed in Sydney Papers Vol.17 No.3-4 in 2005 (pages 93-101)
Born in Yibin, Sichuan Province, China in 1952, Jung Chang was briefly a Red Guard, then worked as a peasant, a “barefoot” doctor, a steelworker and an electrician before studying English and later, working as an assistant lecturer at Sichuan University. She left China for Britain in 1978 where she obtained a PhD in Linguistics in 1982. Her first book Wild Swans (1992) sold more than two million copies. Jung Chang spent the last ten years writing a biography of Mao Tse Tung, Mao: The Unknown Story (Random) with her husband Jon Halliday; a former Senior Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College, University of London. Jung Chang and Jon Halliday presented their views on the book and its subject in conversation with Gerard Henderson, Executive Director of The Sydney Institute on Thursday 21 July 2005. What follows is an edited transcript of that presentation.