Little Red Book
Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung or The Little Red Book as it became known as in the West due to its red cover, was like the good communist’s handbook during the period just before and during the Cultural Revolution in China. It is one of the most widely printed books in the world. It contains select speeches and quotes from Mao himself regarding his ideals and policies for the Communist Party. It is 33 chapters long, with each chapter being about a different topic, like chapter 17, Serving the People, or chapter 25, Unity. Within each chapter are Mao’s sayings that relate to how communists should act and think in regards to the individual topic, for example in chapter 17 he is quoted as saying, “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.” Within many of these quotations though it is easy to point out the hypocrisy of Mao, especially during and after the Great Famine, and leading into the Cultural Revolution. In the quote above he states to conform to what the people want, and own up to and correct mistakes, which of course, during the Great Famine and its aftermath, he did neither of these things. In the first chapter on The Communist Party, he states the need for self-criticism, and how the people should be able to hold the party responsible, as they should. This was of course at odds with how Mao used this ideal to find enemies, in anyone who criticized him after he asked them to, or to “entice snakes out of their lair”, as Jung Chang wrote about in Wild Swans. This book became the doctrine for the youth during the Cultural Revolution, and the Cult of Mao, and it helped turn the tide back in Mao’s favor for leadership of China because of the people’s blind faith in him and their inability to see, until many years later for most, the incredible hypocrisy of the Chairman.
 “Quotations from Mao Tse Tung — Chapter 17.” Quotations from Mao Tse Tung — Chapter 17. Accessed April 4, 2015. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/works/red-book/ch17.htm.
 Chang, Jung. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991. 211.