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Mao Zhu Xi Yu Lu [Quotations from Chairman Mao.]

[No location, but probably Beijing or Tianjin,, May 1964] Stock Code: 127381
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First edition, first printing, of Mao's Little Red Book, in the first state with uncorrected text, and retaining the errata and Lin Biao's endorsement leaf. The first edition, printed for the General Political Department of the People's Liberation Army, was issued in two bindings, in red vinyl plastic, and in printed wrappers. The copies in printed wrappers were intended for high-ranking officers and were issued first, with the red vinyl copies intended for use by brigade teams of up to eight men and were released shortly afterwards, as the sturdier binding took longer to manufacture. A correction was made to the text during printing, with the first state sheets having a transposed character between pp. 82 and 83, reading "li men wo yong" instead of "li yong wo men" (see Schiller, p. 36). The error was later corrected, with this copy having the uncorrected text. Sheets with both the corrected and uncorrected text were issued in the present vinyl binding, without any priority cited by Schiller, the uncorrected copies issued with an additional inserted errata leaf signalizing the error, as here. Copies issued in wrappers always contain the corrected text.
This copy has the Lin Biao calligraphic endorsement leaf intact, after the frontispiece. In 1972 an edict was issued that Lin's name was to be obliterated from history, following disclosures that he had plotted a coup and planned to assassinate Mao; consequently, "many surviving copies in the Chinese language have that page legitimately torn away, mutilated or censored" (Schiller, p. 36). The endorsement leaf also contains an error in one word: a superfluous brush stroke occurring in the second character from the top in the second vertical line from the right, "ting" (it was the equivalent of crossing a "t" or dotting an "i" twice in English).
By the start of the Cultural Revolution in 1966, the red vinyl design had become symbolic of Mao's slogan "The East is Red", and the paper wrappers were discontinued. The year 1966 also "signaled the start of a major translation and publication project when the Little Red Book was issued in over 50 different languages of countries where Socialism might triumph" (Schiller, p. 55). The book was printed in vast quantities until Mao's death in 1976; by the late 1970s, however, a change of government meant further circulation of the book was discouraged, with millions of copies were collected and destroyed. His Little Red Book, however, sometimes referred to as the "Chinese Bible", "forms a brilliant compilation that is still readable and admired today for its political theories and strategies" (ibid., p. 57).

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Duodecimo. Original red vinyl, title to front cover in blind, printed errata slip in rear pocket. Housed in a red quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.


Frontispiece portrait of Chairman Mao; Lin Biao calligraphic endorsement printed in black (no priority).


Covers bright and sharp, with a couple of tiny marks, mild scattered spotting and foxing to contents, faint offsetting to pp. 122-23. A very nice, near-fine copy.


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