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.