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Mao


  • Originally published 06/03/2016

    The Return of the Cult of Mao

    As the anniversary of the June 4, 1989, massacre approaches, China is still trying to come to terms with the contradictory legacies of Mao and Deng.

  • Originally published 05/30/2014

    How the west embraced Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book

    John Gray

    At the peak of its popularity, Mao's bible was the most printed book in the world. It attained the status of a sacred, holy text during the Cultural Revolution, and retains its place among western devotees.

  • Originally published 08/05/2013

    Jeffrey Wasserstrom: Old Stories from the New China

    Jeffrey Wasserstrom teaches at UC Irvine and is the author of "China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know."In July, two stories out of China were big news. One focused on watermelon seller Deng Zhengjia, a poor urban migrant in Hunan province, who became newsworthy only when reports circulated that thuggish chengguan — members of para-police units — allegedly beat him to death. A week later, someone very different, Bo Xilai, was back in the news when he was formally charged with "abuses of power" and corruption. Bo — the former party boss of one of China's biggest cities, Chongqing, a Politburo member and once thought to be bound for elevation to the Communist Party's ruling Standing Committee — was anything but poor, powerless or unknown before cascading scandals brought him down in 2012. Putting the tales of Deng's death and Bo's indictment side by side illuminates a major challenge China's leaders face: How to keep the people believing the stories they tell to justify their rule.