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Mao's Little Red Book


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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Introduction: the spiritual atom bomb and its global fallout Alexander C. Cook; 2. A single spark: origins and spread of the Little Red Book in China Daniel Leese; 3. Quotations songs: portable media and the Maoist pop song Andrew F. Jones; 4. Mao quotations in factional battles and their afterlives: episodes from Chongqing Guobin Yang; 5. Translation and internationalism Lanjun Xu; 6. Maoism in Tanzania: material connections and shared imaginaries Priya Lal; 7. Empty symbol: the Little Red Book in India Sreemati Chakrbarti; 8. The influence of Maoism in Peru David Scott Palmer; 9. The book that bombed: Mao's Little Red Thing in the Soviet Union Elizabeth McGuire; 10. Mao and the Albanians Elidor Mehilli; 11. Partisan legacies and anti-imperialist ambitions: the Little Red Book in Italy and Yugoslavia Dominique Kirchner Reill; 12. Badge books and brand books: the Mao bible in East and West Germany Quinn Slobodian; 13. Principally contradiction: the flourishing of French Maoism Julian Bourg; 14. By the book: Quotations from Chairman Mao and the making of Afro-Asian Radicalism, 1966-75 Bill V. Mullen; 15. Conclusion: in the beginning is the word - popular democracy and Mao's Little Red Book Ban Wang; Index.

Promotional Information

On the fiftieth anniversary of Quotations from Chairman Mao, this pioneering volume examines the book as a global historical phenomenon.

About the Author

Alexander C. Cook is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches modern Chinese history. His research examines Maoism in its domestic and global contexts. His publications include the chapter on 'Third World Maoism' in A Critical Introduction to Mao (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and a forthcoming book on the Gang of Four trial in China.


'Alex Cook's collection of essays on Quotations from Chairman Mao explains this global phenomenon of the 1960s and uses it as a window to explore wider issues, from Chinese politics and society, to traveling theory across Asia, Africa and Europe, to popular appropriation of state ideologies. Contributions by specialists in Mao's works, history, international politics, literary theory, and music reveal the astonishing power of Mao's writings and what that tells us about ourselves.' Timothy Cheek, University of British Columbia
'If transnational history is the thing these days, this strong collection of essays on the worldly travels of and local interpretive possibilities opened by Mao's Little Red Book in the 1960s and beyond, is a model of its kind. Topically coherent, strongly analytical, and surprisingly broad in its coverage, this anthology will undoubtedly become a great companion for classroom use and scholarly reference. A good read; a great book!' Rebecca E. Karl, New York University
'The most printed book in its time, Quotations from Chairman Mao is an ideal case study for a global intellectual history. Showing how its message travelled the world like a laser refracted into a thousand colours, Alexander Cook and his contributors have offered up a delightful and provocative pattern no one scholar could have assembled. Their chapters make up an exciting new picture of the global 1960s and their aftermath - and of the political upheaval that a text's readings can both reflect and abet.' Samuel Moyn, James Bryce Professor, Columbia University, and author of The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (2010)
'Its earliest editions may have been blue and green, we now learn, but it is as the Little Red Book that the Quotations from Chairman Mao became known the world over. Half a century ago, its pithy slogans energized and guided restless revolutionaries in places as far apart as Oakland, Dar es Salam, Paris and Ayacucho. In this groundbreaking critical history, the authors weave sympathetic understanding and perceptive analyses into a fascinating account of the book and its global influence.' Michael Schoenhals, Lund University, editor of China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party (1996) and co-author of Mao's Last Revolution (2006)
'This compilation of fifteen essays, each by a different author, on the impact of the book worldwide marks a fascinating attempt to understand why it reached such a wide audience ...' Ben Chacko, Morning Star
'... contains much that is of interest ... illuminating.' New Statesman
'Published on the fiftieth anniversary of the earliest printing of Mao's Little Red Book, Cook's edited volume explores the local and global impacts and gripping narratives of the pocket-size text. ... a trove of fascinating articles by leading scholars of several fields. ... A collection of interesting and well-researched articles on an understudied topic, this edited volume is an exemplary transnational and multidisciplinary project. It should be of interest to readers from diverse backgrounds. Summing up: highly recommended.' P. B. Guingona, Choice

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