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Mao's Little Red Book: A Global History –…
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Mao's Little Red Book: A Global History (vuoden 2014 painos)

– tekijä: Alexander C. Cook (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
1531,121,577 (3.5)-
Mao Zedong's Little Red Book (Quotations from Chairman Mao) - a compilation of the Chinese leader's speeches and writings - is one of the most visible and ubiquitous symbols of twentieth-century radicalism. Published for the first time in 1964, it rapidly became the must-have accessory for Red Guards and revolutionaries from Berkeley to Bamako. Yet, despite its worldwide circulation and enduring presence there has, until now, been no serious scholarly effort to understand this seminal text as a global historical phenomenon. Mao's Little Red Book brings together a range of innovative scholars from around the world to explore the fascinating variety of uses and forms that Mao's Quotations has taken, from rhetoric, art and song, to talisman, badge, and weapon. The authors of this pioneering volume use Mao's Quotations as a medium through which to re-examine the history of the twentieth-century world, challenging established ideas about the book to reveal its remarkable global impact. -- Provided by publisher. On the fiftieth anniversary of Quotations from Chairman Mao, this pioneering volume examines the book as a global historical phenomenon. -- Provided by publisher.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:kdmesser
Teoksen nimi:Mao's Little Red Book: A Global History
Kirjailijat:Alexander C. Cook (Tekijä)
Info:Cambridge University Press (2014), Edition: 1, 304 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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Mao's Little Red Book: A Global History (tekijä: Alexander C. Cook (Editor))

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näyttää 3/3
Once Mao Tse-tung's thought is grasped by the broad masses, it becomes a source of strength and a spiritual atom bomb of infinite power. ~ Lin Biao

Alexander C. Cook has put together a great book about the second most read book in the world. The Quotations of Chairman Mao, or simply Mao's Little Red Book, took the world by storm and created fans as well as enemies. Cook put together the a collection of scholarly essays from experienced scholars in this extremely well documented book. The amount of documentation and citations is well above and beyond what I would have expected. The writing is clear, to the point, and gives a variety of viewpoints.

Mao's quotations on revolution and socialism may seem dated to many casual readers or those without a history or political science background. But it must be remembered that the world was a very different place fifty years ago. Fifty years may not seem like a great deal of time, but a great deal of change happens over a fifty year period. Consider that World War II and the Desert Storm were fifty years apart and think of the changes weapons, technology, and economies.

Mao's Little Red Book covers the effect it had in China and around the world. The Little Red Book was originally intended for the People's Army as a tool to keep moral, dedication, and the revolutionary spirit live and well. The demand from the public for a copy was overwhelming. The printing office needed to outsource the production of the book to try and keep up with the demand. Having a copy was a sign of pride and duty for the average citizen. It was quoted and brought up even in casual conversations. It did create a cult of Mao though. That may seem strange and on par with the Kim Il dynasty in North Korea, but it was not that odd in China. Collected quotes had a long history in Chinese culture going back to the Confucius.

The book was taken in different ways throughout the world. Originally not intended for outside use, even to the point of Chinese officials asking that visitors return any copies of The Little Red Book that they may have. The government felt that outsiders would not get the proper message in context by reading the small sampling and urged interested people to instead read the more complete volumes. China did print The Little Red Book in a few languages, and then more including Swahili. The Swahili edition was published for Tanzania and made available at a very low cost. The problem there, however, even with the support the government, was with the people. High illiteracy rates made even a very inexpensive book almost useless. This was fixed with broadcasts of from Radio Peking in East Africa.

The book although widely popular in many parts of the world was a complete flop in the Soviet Union. China and the USSR had a difference of opinion that sometimes lead to bloodshed. China saw revolution as active and the USSR believed it achieved all there was. Mao said the Soviet Union lost its way with industrialization; the people no longer poor or agrarian had lost touch with the revolution. The book also was not a hit in the Western Hemisphere. In America, outside of Berkeley and the Black Panthers, it had little effect. Although South and Latin America had more than their share of communist influence, it was mostly from Moscow. The exception, however, was on of the most well known revolutionary/terror groups in the Western Hemisphere: The Shining Path.

The use of different scholars and different regional expertise gives Mao's Little Red Book: A Global History far more range, coverage, and grasp on how Mao's little book influenced the world and where it succeeded and where it failed and more importantly why. The book may be above the grasp of the causal history reader, but well worth the read to those with an interest and a background. It is probably one of the more heavily documented books I have read outside of graduate school. Footnotes take up significantly more space than most mass marketed nonfiction books usually use. An excellent scholarly examination. ( )
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
Little read, now—but, oh, back in the day!

Mao’s Little Red Book: A Global History, Alexander C. Cook, editor (Cambridge University Press, $27.99).

We live in a time when Chairman Mao is more of a cultural memory than a political lodestar, but it wasn’t always so—and that’s the heart of this collection of essays on “The Little Red Book,” the collection of political commentary by Mao Tse-Tung that was well known throughout the ’60s and ’70s.

Edited by UC Berkeley professor of history Alexander C. Cook, the collection has 15 essays that place the book in an international context. Most essayists point out that, in China, the excerpts in the book existed within a larger and familiar body of work, whereas quotes that have since become familiar (“political power grows from the barrel of a gun”) were, in other places, divorced from their context and took on a life of their own.

While the purpose of uniting and indoctrinating the Chinese—most particularly, members of the Red Army—was behind the release of Quotations from Chairman Mao, “the Little Red Book” took on another life as the representation of the whole of Chinese Communist thinking once it was disseminated in isolation.

Mind you, this collection of essays is only interested in discussing the history and reception of the book—it’s not a history of Mao or his politics. It is, however, interesting and provides some surprising bits of information—for instance, the book was a total flop in the U.S.S.R.

But American college students seemed to like it. And it’s still fairly easy to get—when a friend took a trip to China, I asked for a copy in Chinese (that’s it, beneath the cover of Mao’s Little Red Book), and she said it was both the easiest to find (in a flea market) and the cheapest (less than a buck) of all the souvenirs she’d been asked to pick up.

Oh, well. It’s a little red plastic-covered piece of history.

Reviewed on Lit/Rant: www.litrant.tumblr.com ( )
  KelMunger | Aug 27, 2014 |
A collection of essays by academics about Mao's Little Red Book, i.e., the Quotations of Chairman Mao Zedong, promises to be a tough read. Amazingly, for the most part, this book isn't. As the essays trace the distribution and influence of the book in various parts of the world, we can see it for the icon it truly was. As the authors point out, by taking short, sometimes pithy quotations out of the context of Mao's longer works, his words could be put to pretty much any purpose a reader wanted. It is interesting, though in hindsight not surprising, that Mao's quotations met their biggest opposition in communist countries, including the Soviet Union and its satellite--but, of course not Albania, where it was co-opted by the ruling party in maintaining its schism from the Soviets.

In the West, the book was adopted by students, communist auto workers, and the Black Panthers. But, perhaps more so, it was taken as a badge by anyone wishing to rebel (or seem to be rebelling) against society. It is as a non-political icon that Mao's book still lives on in contemporary China, where you can buy stationery and other items derived from it, while shopping in trendy over-priced districts who wouldn't know the real China if they fell into it.

As I said, this book is surprisingly readable and, for the most part, very informative. It suffers, however, when the author of a particular piece fails to provide any perspective. Thus the piece on Tanzania shows the influence of Mao's book, but hardly analyzes its long-term consequences. The French section is repetitive, burdened by academicese, and loses sight of the big picture--if there is one. Even in the best articles here, there is no attempt to contrast the admirable parts of Mao's thinking, such as his criticism of racism, with the horrible reality of life in Cultural Revolution era China or, indeed, the years of famine and persecution that preceded it. A reader can't help but think these authors, for the most part, don't see the contradiction between Mao's words and his actions.

I guess John Lennon (quoted in this book) said it best: But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow. ( )
  datrappert | Aug 11, 2014 |
näyttää 3/3
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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Mao Zedong's Little Red Book (Quotations from Chairman Mao) - a compilation of the Chinese leader's speeches and writings - is one of the most visible and ubiquitous symbols of twentieth-century radicalism. Published for the first time in 1964, it rapidly became the must-have accessory for Red Guards and revolutionaries from Berkeley to Bamako. Yet, despite its worldwide circulation and enduring presence there has, until now, been no serious scholarly effort to understand this seminal text as a global historical phenomenon. Mao's Little Red Book brings together a range of innovative scholars from around the world to explore the fascinating variety of uses and forms that Mao's Quotations has taken, from rhetoric, art and song, to talisman, badge, and weapon. The authors of this pioneering volume use Mao's Quotations as a medium through which to re-examine the history of the twentieth-century world, challenging established ideas about the book to reveal its remarkable global impact. -- Provided by publisher. On the fiftieth anniversary of Quotations from Chairman Mao, this pioneering volume examines the book as a global historical phenomenon. -- Provided by publisher.

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