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China and Orientalism by Daniel Vukovich

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3 Maoist discourse and itsdemonization

You remember Kosygin at the 23rd Congress! ‘Communism means the raising of living standards,’ of course! And swimming is a way of putting on a pair of trunks!

- Mao Zedong, as told to (or imagined by) Andre Malraux

If it is repeated often enough will a truth-claim necessarily become a truth? Such appears to be the case with the verdict on historical Maoism. The demonization of the Mao era is a general, if under-explored feature of China studies and intellectual-political culture around the world - not least among liberal Chinese intellectuals.1 In this chapter I critique this production of truth about Chinese Maoism by documenting where it has occurred, and what new knowledge and figures of colonial discourse ...

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