CHINA: The Twenty-Five Years of Chairman Mao

The outstanding thing about China's 600 million people is that they are "poor and blank." This may seem a bad thing, but in reality it is a good thing ... On a blank sheet of paper free from any mark, the freshest and most beautiful characters can be written, the freshest and most beautiful pictures can be painted. — Mao Tse-tung, 1958

No one can seriously argue that the Chinese, with almost three milleniums of history behind them, were ever truly "blank." Yet in the 25 years since Mao and his 2 million-member...

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