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Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (1964)

by Mao Tse-Tung

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,2921910,211 (2.69)20
Students and teachers will welcome this new addition to the DeFrancis series of Chinese language texts.  The famous little red book of Mao Tse-tung's thoughts contains basic ideas that permeate virtually all discussion in China of a wide range of topics - war and peace, socialism and communism, culture and art, women and youth, study and education, politics and government, economics and philosophy, morality and ethics, and so on.  The Annotated Quotations provides the original Chinese text together with a complete pinyin transcription.  The annotation includes regular characters, simplified forms, pinyin transcription, and English definitions.  Structural notes are provided for passages of special difficulty.  A cumulative glossary of first occurrences of all characters and vocabulary items not in the Index Volume to the DeFrancis series concludes the work.  From the point of view of language teaching, an important feature of Chairman Mao's book is that its didactic objective has resulted in precisely the kind of repetition and review that textbook writers work hard to achieve.  Furthermore, his writing style is generally simple and clear, and there are few extremely rare characters.  For students at various levels of language competence starting at the level of DeFrancis's Beginning Chinese Reader, Part II, the Annotated Quotations provides an excellent introduction to the vast body of materials published in the People's Republic of China. … (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Pales next to Marx and Engels. Mostly an ego boost for Mao ( )
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung was published between 1964-1976 after being compiled by the People’s Liberation Army Daily to cover 23 topics with 200 quotations. They intended it to serve as an inspirational work for politicians and military officials. The final version of the book, as approved by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, contains 427 quotations covering 33 topics. The book began appearing in foreign bookstores in 1966 and was ubiquitous during the Cultural Revolution in China. This Easton Press collector’s edition features an exclusive introduction from Maurice Meisner, a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in which he situated the book and Mao in their historical context. While Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung may seem a relic of the past, it deserves to be studied like any other text that changed the world. Furthermore, like those texts, a clear reading can reveal wisdom of relevance and interest to modern readers. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Feb 14, 2020 |
Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung was published between 1964-1976 after being compiled by the People’s Liberation Army Daily to cover 23 topics with 200 quotations. They intended it to serve as an inspirational work for politicians and military officials. The final version of the book, as approved by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, contains 427 quotations covering 33 topics. The book began appearing in foreign bookstores in 1966 and was ubiquitous during the Cultural Revolution in China. This1967 Bantam Books copy is the first U.S. edition of the book. After Deng Xiaoping’s rise to power following Mao’s death in 1976, the book’s importance waned and is largely treated as a piece of nostalgia today.

Similar to political tracts such as Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments following the Seneca Falls Convention, or Mary Wollstonecraft’s The Vindication of the Rights of Women, Mao Zedong’s quotations deserve to be studied and many resonate with current political and social events. Discussing the Communist Party, Mao writes, “No political party can possibly lead a great revolutionary movement to victory unless it possesses revolutionary theory and a knowledge of history and has a profound grasp of the practical movement” (pg. 2). While he used this to discuss the Chinese Community Party, it applies to any group looking to change the world. In discussing the importance of daring to struggle and daring to win, Mao writes, “Historically, all reactionary forces on the verge of extinction invariably conduct a last desperate struggle against the revolutionary forces, and some revolutionaries are apt to be deluded for a time by this phenomenon of outward strength but inner weakness, failing to grasp the essential fact that the enemy is nearing extinction while they themselves are approaching victory” (pg. 44-45). This seems particularly apt in the wake of the neo-conservatism movement working to undo fifty years of social progress.

Mao discusses the importance of serving the people, writing, “The organs of state must practise democratic centralism, they must rely on the masses and their personnel must serve the people” (pg. 95). Furthermore, “Our duty is to hold ourselves responsible to the people. Every word, every act and every policy must conform to the people’s interests, and if mistakes occur, they must be corrected – that is what being responsible to the people means” (pg. 96). He continues these themes as they apply to patriotism and internationalism, writing, “In the fight for complete liberation the oppressed people rely first of all on their own struggle and then, and only then, on international assistance. The people who have triumphed in their own revolution should help those still struggling for liberation. This is our internationalist duty” (pg. 99). In an inscription that originally appeared in the July 20, 1949 issue of Women of New China, Mao wrote, “Unite and take part in production and political activity to improve the economic and political status of women” (pg. 170). The quote is particularly apt, appearing on the 101st anniversary of the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY.

Mao discusses the importance of culture, art, and study, writing, “Different forms and styles in art should develop freely and different schools in science should contend freely. We think that it is harmful to the growth of art and science if administrative measures are used to impose one particular style of art or school of thought and to ban another. Questions of right and wrong in the arts and sciences should be settled through free discussion in artistic and scientific circles and through practical work in these fields. They should not be settled in summary fashion” (pg. 174). He continues, “We can learn what we did not know. We are not only good at destroying the old world, we are also good at building the new” (pg. 175). Furthermore, “Knowledge is a matter of science, and no dishonesty or conceit whatsoever is permissible. What is required is definitely the reverse – honesty and modesty” (pg. 178).

While Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung may seem a relic of the past, it deserves to be studied like any other text that changed the world. Furthermore, like those texts, a clear reading can reveal wisdom of relevance and interest to modern readers. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jul 3, 2019 |
This copy I purchased from the markets on Antique Road, Hong Kong, some time ago. I decided on a cover to cover reading. I soon found that the quality of my copy was not the best, and I had to look up the punchline of the Chinese myth "The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains". As it turns out, Mao used the myth in relation to the two mountains - imperialism and feudalism - that could be chipped away by the generations. My knowledge of China's modern history is limited, and my reading on Mao's influence has been limited to Mao's On Guerrilla Warfare, Sun Shuyun's The Long March, and the "beautiful yet sinister" Chinese Propaganda Posters (published by Taschen in 2015 - I purchased my copy at the Hong Kong Museum of Modern Art bookstore, a favourite haunt). My favourite quote (p. 337):...in the year 2001, or the beginning of the 21st century, China... will have become a powerful socialist industrial country.I learnt a bit more about Norman Bethune, the Canadian physician who worked with Mao after serving as a doctor during the Spanish Civil War, and discovered interesting viewpoints on "democratic centralism". Mao discusses political theory, education policy, "contradictions" and ways to overcome these, such as that that exists between classes, officers and men, comrades, and in terms of patriotism versus internationalism. Mao's quotes are all after The Long March (the Red Army's retreat in 1934 that left only 1/5 of the Army remaining, but ultimately led to the Red Army's victory and was to become a major pillar of Communist Party propaganda). Following on from The Long March, this collection of quotations is an intense lesson in the modern history of China. Many of the quotes are drawn from the "Selected Works". It is difficult to buy English translations of the less popular works by Mao, and I would like to read more of this in future, as, for all his other not insignificant digressions, he was certainly an important scholar, poet, and political theorist. Like anything that is not of "us", Mao's works have largely been ignored, yet he, and later, Deng Xiaoping, were the driving forces behind the Chinese powerhouse that has emerged in my own lifetime. "Socialism with Chinese characteristics" is something that we should all be studying at this point in history, and this "little red book" is a good place to start. ( )
  madepercy | Oct 11, 2018 |
Read one quote every day.
  EmanLacaba | Apr 12, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mao Tse-Tungprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barnett, A. DoakForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piao, LinForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The force at the core leading our cause forward is the Chinese Communist Party. The theoretical basis guiding our thinking is Marxism-Leninism.
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