Beijing: Central Political Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, 1964.
1st Edition. Soft cover. 16mo - over 5¾ - 6¾" tall. Very Good. Item #002287
[Quotations from Chairman Mao]. Beijing: Central Political Department of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, [May 1964]. 16mo (139 x 102 mm). , 2, 2, 250 pp. Half-title printed in red, title-page printed in red and green, portrait of Chairman Mao printed in sepia, uncorrected calligraphic endorsement leaf of Lin Biao printed in black, and table of contents. Original stapled softbinding with the original paper wrappers printed in red and black (very slight soiling and wrinkling of wrappers, small rust spots from staple chalked). Provenance: Training school of Kunming (half-title annotated in Chinese). First and last blanks a bit soiled, otherwise quite clean and crisp. A fine and virtually unsophisticated copy of the rare first printing of the first edition.
Created for use by the People's Liberation Army as a pocket handbook of inspirational reading, the book contains short segments taken from Mao's speeches and published writings for use in study groups as lessons for discussion amongst the soldiers. Demand for additional copies within the army required the book to get reprinted several times in 1965 (2nd edition March enlarged to 32 chapters, 3rd edition August with final 33rd chapter added). It is the second most frequently printed book in history, after the Bible, with an estimated five-billion copies produced in more than 100 languages in the past forty-five years. Early printings include a one-page facsimile of Lin's calligraphic endorsement for everyone to study Chairman Mao's writings, but following accusations of Lin's unsuccessful plot to assassinate Mao in September 1971, the government required this page to be torn out in an effort to eradicate Lin's name from modern history. Subsequent copies printed after 1971 no longer include any mention of Lin and most earlier copies that do survive have this page removed.
The first printing is slightly taller than all later editions and includes an error found in the earliest form of Lin's calligraphic facsimile endorsement, where a superfluous brush stroke occurred in the 2nd vertical line from the right, 2nd character from the top. It is generally accepted that all copies comprising only thirty chapters and with text ending at page 250 are first editions. The more famous issue in red vinyl cover was simultaneously printed with those in first paper wrappers, but the vinyl took longer to produce and was thus release shortly after. Paper wrapper copies were intended for Army officers whereas those in red vinyl were produced to be shared by brigades of up to eight soldiers. (Schiller, Quotations from Chairman Mao. A short bibliographical Study, the Grolier Club, New York, 2014).
Some copies contain textual errors in the final line of p.82 and the first line of p.83. As sheets for the Quotations were printed at several locations throughout China to facilitate faster distribution, no place of publication is stated; and no priority can be established for copies in which the misprints occur and those in which they do not. (Han, Sources and Early Printing History of Chairman Mao's 'Quotations,' Antiquarian Book Review, November 2003).
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