Mao's Formative Years Revisited
Using newly released archival and published sources, including Mao Zedong's early writings, poems, essays, and reading notes, a novel psychological interpretation is presented of Mao's personality formation during his childhood and adolescence and its impact on his later life and politics. The young Mao experienced intense inner conflict between feelings of insecurity and grandiosity, which manifested itself in his contradictory behavior of rebelliousness and conformity vis-à-vis the authority figures in his childhood. The inner conflict later evolved into a full-blown identity crisis that made his adolescence turbulent. Mao's eventual emergence as a committed Communist revolutionary was as much a result of his unconscious need to save himself from debilitating inner conflict as his desire to save China from its predicament.
Sheng, Michael M. "Mao's Formative Years Revisited." The Chinese Historical Review 12, no. 2 (2005): 230-262.
Chinese Historical Review