China and the New Maoists

Kerry Brown and Simone van Nieuwenhuizen


An absorbing account of the continued influence of Chairman Mao on contemporary China, and of efforts by the New Maoists to claim his legacy.

Forty years after his death, Mao remains a totemic, if divisive, figure in contemporary China. Though he retains an immense symbolic importance within China’s national mythology, the rise of a capitalist economy has seen the ruling class become increasingly ambivalent towards him. And while he continues to be a highly visible and contentious presence in Chinese public life, Mao's enduring influence has been little understood in the West.

In China and the New Maoists, Kerry Brown and Simone van Nieuwenhuizen look at the increasingly vocal elements who claim to be the true ideological heirs to Mao, ranging from academics to cyberactivists, as well as at the state's efforts to draw on Mao’s image as a source of legitimacy. This is a fascinating portrait of a country undergoing dramatic upheavals while still struggling to come to terms with its past.

Author Bio

Kerry Brown is the professor of Chinese studies and the director of the Lau China Institute,at King’s College, London. He is an associate at the Asia Programme at Chatham House, London, and the author of eleven books on modern China, the latest of which is CEO China: The Rise of Xi Jinping.

Simone van Nieuwenhuizen is based at the University of Sydney. This is her first book.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. The Tale of the Victim, Zhang Zhixin
  • 2. The Chairman's Life after Death
  • 3. Defender of the Faith: Deng Liqun and Leftism
  • 4. Maoism in Motion: The Red Campaign of Bo Xilai in Chongqing
  • 5. Blurred Lines: Mao, the CPC and Chinese Society Today
  • 6. Mad about Mao
  • Conclusion: Mao's Second Coming


'A must-read for those looking to get a better understanding of China’s recent history and its internal politics.'
LSE Review of Books

'Informative, varied and engaging.'
The East Asia Book Review

'The resurgence of neo-Maoism in China is by turns fascinating, puzzling, and disturbing. China and the New Maoists is a lucid and absorbing account of the Party’s fumbling attempts, in the authors’ words, to "extricate itself from the quagmire of neo-Maoism".'
Andrew G. Walder, author of China Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed

'An extraordinarily concise, informative and insightful account of the legacies of Mao Zedong for contemporary China. Brown and van Nieuwenhuizen have written an essential guide to one of the key political, cultural, social and economic conundrums of China today.'
Julia Lovell, author of The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China

'An engaging and revealing look at how the battles over Mao's legacy have shaped politics in China for the better part of a century – and could define its future.'
Philip Pan, author of Out of Mao's Shadow and Asia editor of The New York Times


Publication Date: 15 August 2016
200 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783607594
Hardback: 9781783607600
eBook ePub: 9781783607624
eBook PDF: 9781783607617
eBook Kindle: 9781783607631

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