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A Global History of Maoism

Professor Lovell's landmark history traces the evolution and legacy of Maoism within and beyond China.

On 14 March, Professor of Modern China Julia Lovell’s new history of Maoism will be published by Bodley Head.

Maoism: A Global History re-evaluates the evolution and legacy of Maoism, both in China and internationally. Professor Lovell reveals how Maoism, far from being a purely historical phenomenon, continues to shape both China and the world – more than forty years after the death of Mao himself.

The book examines how Maoism was crucial in driving the Cold War; anti-colonial resistance movements in Africa; terrorist groups in Germany and Italy; and insurgencies from Peru to Nepal. It traces the global impact of Maoism from the 1930s to the present.

Professor Lovell said: “Mao’s ideas remain fundamental to the People’s Republic of China, and were the catalyst for movements and insurgencies that are still with us today. But many Western analysts underestimate the spread and resilience of Mao’s ideas – not only in terms of their impact on China, but also on the world more generally. If Maoism is thought of at all, it is seen as a Chinese story, and as a story long past. My book tells it as both a Chinese and a global story. My aim in writing this new history was to explore Maoism as a force that not only changed modern China but also the world.”

Professor Lovell is programme director of Birkbeck’s MA Global History and teaches on BA History programmes.

Listen to an interview with Professor Lovell on the history of Maoism on the Birkbeck Voices podcast.

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