Jules Archer Janet G. Polacheck - Essay

Janet G. Polacheck

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Revolution in our Time is a] confusing account of world revolutions in the past century. There is little continuity between chapters which move from the New Left to black power to whether a new American revolution can succeed and whether revolutionists should be tolerated. While many interesting anecdotes are offered, the abrupt jumps in time … and from place to place … make this book almost impossible to read and follow coherently. (p. 287)

Janet G. Polacheck, in School Library Journal (reprinted from the January, 1972 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co. A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1972), January, 1972.

[Mao Tse-Tung is a] responsible, undemanding biography of Chairman Mao which personalizes and updates the story of The Rise of Red China told by [Robert] Goldston in 1967. As demonstrated by a wealth of anecdotes—about Mao's readiness to volunteer for hazardous duty, his fatherly concern for his young orderly on the Long March, etc.—Archer clearly admires the self-sacrifice and political acumen which characterized the Chairman's youth. But he is far from uncritical—attributing Mao's parochialism partly to his long retreat in Yenan, tracing the growth of Maoist cult of personality and outlining the failures of the Great Leap Forward and the Hundred Flowers campaign. Of necessity this is a portrait of the public man, except for the few private conversations passed on by Malraux, Robert Payne and Jules Roy, but Archer's value lies in his ability to assess Mao's strengths and weaknesses unemotionally. (p. 268)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1972 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), March 1, 1972.

["Mao Tse-Tung: Red Emperor" is a] good book on Mao for the high school library and young adult readers. Archer is a competent writer who has produced some smoothly written but undistinguished biographies for the popular market. His gift is not meticulous research or political sophistication; but here he manages his narrative of Mao's career with simplicity and clarity—overdramatizing and "novelizing" to sustain interest, but on the whole offering younger readers a good headstart in their education on modern China. (p. 79)

Publishers Weekly (reprinted from the March 27, 1972, issue of Publishers Weekly by permission, published by R. R. Bowker Company, a Xerox company; copyright © 1972 by Xerox Corporation), March 27, 1972.