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  • Published: 17 March 2020
  • ISBN: 9780099581857
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 624
  • RRP: $30.00


A Global History

The first global history of Maosim that explores Maos' life, ideas, influence and legacy as a power that shaped the world well beyond the borders of China.

'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

  • Published: 17 March 2020
  • ISBN: 9780099581857
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 624
  • RRP: $30.00

About the author

Julia Lovell

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.

Praise for Maoism

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


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*

Lovells's descriptions of.global strands of Maoism are well-researched and colourful


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

Christopher Harding, 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

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

Highly readable and well-researched book. timely

David Priestland, New Statesman

A fascinating account of the influence of Maoism, during the cold war and beyond

Gideon Rachman, Financial Times, *Books of the Year*

[A] superb and chilling study

Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times, *Books of the Year*

A fascinating and timely work on one of the most influential and disruptive strands of Marxist thought: that of Mao Zedong. the book reveals the relevance of Mao to our current populist age

London Review of Economics, *Books of the Year*

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