Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This reverential biography covers a period in Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai's life when he was contending with the now still despised Jiang Qing, Mao Tse Tung's ambitious wife, who spurred on the infamous Cultural Revolution and was the leader of the so-called "Gang of Four." While Mao may have been the overall leader and trendsetter in the Chinese Communist Party and in the 1949 revolution, Zhou was the Party's incredibly astute chief strategist and prime minister who, in the culminating moments of his career, worked in the 1970s with Henry Kissinger to engineer Richard Nixon's epochal visit to China. He is also credited with working to bring about a more moderate approach to government. In fact, he was everything Jiang Qing despised and Mao was suspicious of, but he somehow managed to retain his central position in the halls of power until the very moment of his (natural) death.