7 June 2006
MAO ZEDONG (1893-1976). Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong. Text in Chinese. [?Beijing:] Central Political Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, 1964. 16° (137 x 103 mm). Half-title printed in red, title in red and green, half-tone portrait frontispiece of Mao, Lin Biao's printed calligraphic endorsement. (Faint marginal dampstain, a very few short, closed marginal tears.) Original wrappers printed in red and black (very faint small dampstain on lower cover, small chips on front cover, light soiling). Provenance: small red ink chop on title, and a very few leaves with light pencilled marginalia. FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING.
MAO ZEDONG. Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung, in Chinese. [?Beijing]: Central Political Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, 1965. 16° (123 x 89 mm). Half-title printed in red, title in red and green, half-tone portrait frontispiece of Mao with tissue guard, Lin Biao's printed calligraphic endorsement. (One corner bumped.) Original wrappers printed in red and black (light soiling, one corner bumped). THIRD (FIRST COMPLETE) EDITION.
FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING, AND THIRD (FIRST COMPLETE) EDITION OF CHAIRMAN MAO'S 'LITTLE RED BOOK'. The first with the uncorrected state of Lin Biao's rare printed calligraphic endorsement. Following Lin's alleged plot to assassinate Mao in September 1971 citizens were encouraged to tear out or deface this page as a sign of loyalty -- not doing so was a potential liability and complete copies are uncommon. Copies in wrappers were produced first and for the use of individual officers, while copies bound in red vinyl followed a few days later and were intended to be shared by brigades of up to eight men. For ease of distribution Mao's book was produced simultaneously at various unspecified locations in China from stereotyped plates. It was revised and reprinted a number of times within the next few years and by 1967 more than 700 million copies had been printed -- almost certainly a record for a printed book in such a short period of time. After Mao's death in 1976, and with it the end of the Cultural Revolution, countless millions of copies were collected and pulped in an attempt to control the cult of personality surrounding Mao. The first complete edition adds three chapters and 20 pages of text. (2)
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