Inside China's Search For Its Soul

The 50th anniversary of Mao's revolution finds the nation balancing a rotting ideology against a hopeful future

You come to visit the Pope of Marxism-Leninism up a long and rickety elevator. It is in the process of being refurbished, but instead of being shut down, the elevator continues to run, half alive. The claw-hammer handle that the elevator operators once used has been replaced by gleaming new push buttons, but typically for China, the elevator operator has not been replaced. She still sits there, complete with a little one-foot-square desk and a bottle of green tea, carrying the nation's top Marxists up and down for eight hours a day. The pope has his office on the 13th floor....

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