Lovell, Julia Maoism: A Global History

ISBN 13: 9781847922496

Maoism: A Global History

 
9781847922496: Maoism: A Global History
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'Revelatory and instructive... [a] beautifully written and accessible book’ The Times

For decades, the West has dismissed Maoism as an outdated historical and political phenomenon. Since the 1980s, China seems to have abandoned the utopian turmoil of Mao’s revolution in favour of authoritarian capitalism. But Mao and his ideas remain central to the People’s Republic and the legitimacy of its Communist government. With disagreements and conflicts between China and the West on the rise, the need to understand the political legacy of Mao is urgent and growing.

The power and appeal of Maoism have extended far beyond China. Maoism was a crucial motor of the Cold War: it shaped the course of the Vietnam War (and the international youth rebellions that conflict triggered) and brought to power the murderous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; it aided, and sometimes handed victory to, anti-colonial resistance movements in Africa; it inspired terrorism in Germany and Italy, and wars and insurgencies in Peru, India and Nepal, some of which are still with us today – more than forty years after the death of Mao.

In this new history, Julia Lovell re-evaluates Maoism as both a Chinese and an international force, linking its evolution in China with its global legacy. It is a story that takes us from the tea plantations of north India to the sierras of the Andes, from Paris’s fifth arrondissement to the fields of Tanzania, from the rice paddies of Cambodia to the terraces of Brixton.

Starting with the birth of Mao’s revolution in northwest China in the 1930s and concluding with its violent afterlives in South Asia and resurgence in the People’s Republic today, this is a landmark history of global Maoism.

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Review:

"A landmark work giving a global panorama of Mao's ideology filled with historic events and enlivened by striking characters." (Jonathan Fenby, author of The Penguin History of Modern China)

"Julia Lovell has given us a masterful corrective to the greatest misconception about today’s China. For too long, visitors who marveled at China’s new luxuries and capitalist zeal assumed that Maoism had gone the way of its creator. That was a mistake. Lovell’s account -- eloquent, engrossing, intelligent -- not only explains why Xi Jinping has revived some of Mao’s techniques, but also why Mao's playbook for the “People’s War” retains an intoxicating and tragic appeal to marginalized people the world over." (Evan Osnos, author of The Age of Ambition)

"Lovell takes us on an exhilarating journey, tracing the spread of Maoist theories across South-east Asia and then Africa, ending up in today’s China... The historical sweep of this book is impressive" (Christopher Coker Literary Review)

"Revelatory and instructive... [a] beautifully written and accessible book" (David Aaronovitch The Times)

"Lovell has produced a work which may well be the most harrowing, fascinating and occasionally hilarious book on the subject thus far" (Stuart Kelly Scotland on Sunday)

About the Author:

Julia Lovell is Professor of Modern China at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Her two most recent books are The Great Wall and The Opium War (which won the 2012 Jan Michalski Prize). Her many translations of modern Chinese fiction into English include Lu Xun's The Real Story of Ah Q, and other Tales of China (2009). She is currently completing a new translation of Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en.

She writes about China for several newspapers, including the Guardian, Financial Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

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