Only twelve years into his thirty-year reign, Mao Zedong surpassed Joseph Stalin as history’s leading mass murderer, according to evidence released recently by the People’s Republic of China. Jasper Becker’s Hungry Ghosts and Zhengyuan Fu’s Autocratic Tradition and Chinese Politics show that Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”—the nadir of 3000 years of autocracy—was far worse than most experts had thought.