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Maoism: A Global History

Julia Lovell

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Vintage
17 March 2020
History; General & world history; Social & political philosophy; Political science & theory; Marxism & Communism; Political leaders & leadership
'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 China 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. With disagreements between China and the West on the rise, the need to understand the political legacy of Mao is urgent and growing.

A crucial motor of the Cold War- Maoism shaped the course of the Vietnam War and brought to power the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; it aided 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.

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, Julia Lovell re-evaluates Maoism as both a Chinese and an international force, linking its evolution in China with its global legacy.

'Wonderful' Andrew Marr, New Statesman
By:   Julia Lovell
Imprint:   Vintage
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 38mm
Weight:   461g
ISBN:   9780099581857
ISBN 10:   009958185X
Pages:   448
Publication Date:   17 March 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

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.

Reviews for Maoism: A Global History

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 * Wonderful -- Andrew Marr * New Statesman * There is not a dull sentence in this scintillating and wry account of the global impact of Maoism -- Michael Burleigh * Evening Standard, *Book of the Week* * An exciting, alternative history of the 20th century that deviates from the well-rehearsed narrative that relays between Washington and Moscow -- Tanjil Rashid * Financial Times * Lovell has a gift for compressing long and convoluted histories via just the right stories, characters, moments, and statistics... In vivid, often grim detail, Lovell shows us how and why Maoism has proven better, both inside and outside China, at attacking state infrastructure than building it up * Daily Telegraph * Lovell is an accomplished storyteller with a nuanced and sophisticated understanding of China's relationship with itself and the world -- Isabel Hilton * Prospect * Lovell breaks new ground and does so in a wonderfully well-written account packed with horrors, extraordinary characters and occasionally macabre humour -- Chris Patten * Tablet * Lovells's descriptions of...global strands of Maoism are well-researched and colourful * Economist * Highly readable and well-researched book... timely -- David Priestland * New Statesman *


  • Short-listed for Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2019 (UK)
  • Winner of Cundill Prize for Historical Literature 2019 (UK)

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