OxBlog (now in color!) points out a review of Mao that, while justifiably criticizing him, criticizes him poorly:
Here's how: the issue isn't so much that their sum total judgment of Mao is unfair, but rather that they distort or neglect important aspects of both Mao's life and modern Chinese history by describing everything that happens as the result of Mao's evil intentions (and the stupidiy of others who didn't perceive them).
For example, Kristof hits on this point quite well when he observes that
[Mao] is presented as such a bumbling psychopath that it's hard to comprehend how he bested all his rivals to lead China.
Although you'd think that Chang & Halliday would present most other Communists as being almost as evil as Mao, they actually present them as surprisingly naive or even well-intentioned. Even those such as Chang Kuo-t'ao, whom they describe as savvy and ruthless, ultimately wind up making incredibly stupid and suicidal mistakes during their confrontations with Mao.
It's the same thing I once told a flock of bloodthirsty militants over at the Hinduunity.org message boards (ahh, haven't been there in a while...) -- once it starts to sound irrational, your criticism, however justified, will be discarded, ignored, or taken as altogether unjustified and incorrect, which really isn't what you're going for.
(Eh, who blogs on spring break?)