In the tradition of John Hersey's "Hiroshima," journalist Jasper Becker's penetrating account of China's four-year famine uncovers the truth behind one of the darkest chapters in history. "Hungry Ghosts" is the horrific story of the state-sponsored terror, cannibalism, torture, and murder during Mao Zedong's "Great Leap Forward, " an attempt at utopian engineering gone wrong. This is the unforgettable story of the century's greatest human rights disaster, in which more people died than in Stalin's purges and the Holocaust put together. Becker conducted hundreds of interviews and spent years immersed in painstaking detective work to examine the unprecedented madness that plagued China between 1958 and 1962. For the first time since it was so ruthlessly and categorically erased from history, Becker unearths what really happened during these years, and how the famine and terror could have been kept a secret for so long.