Friday, April 30, 2010

Mao's Little Red Variant

We recently acquired two copies of the first edition of the famous "Little Red Book," Quotations from Chairman Mao (Peking: Central Political Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, 1964). Why two copies? Because, while they were issued simultaneously, they have variant bindings for their intended audiences. The workers' copy, meant to be shared, was issued with a bright red vinyl cover that could stand the wear and tear of the factory floor or be carried into the field. The party leaders, on the other hand, received theirs in a paper cover.

The ironies abound; not the least of which is that our workers' copy is in much better shape and shows almost no wear at all.

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