Chinese leader Mao Zedong reviewing for the first time the armed forces of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in 1966. Mao had a hand-picked photographer, whose photos were among those most widely distributed images of the 20th century. Photo: STF/AFP Chinese leader Mao Zedong reviewing for the first time the armed forces of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in 1966. Mao had a hand-picked photographer, whose photos were among those most widely distributed images of the 20th century. Photo: STF/AFP
Chinese leader Mao Zedong reviewing for the first time the armed forces of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in 1966. Mao had a hand-picked photographer, whose photos were among those most widely distributed images of the 20th century. Photo: STF/AFP

How Mao Zedong built up his cult of personality – from new Frank Dikötter book How to be a Dictator

  • Mao made sure his portraits were everywhere, that the people sang songs glorifying him, and The Study of Mao Zedong Thought became compulsory
  • With the cult of personality came a harsh regime modelled on the Soviet Union, as Mao portrayed himself as having adapted Marxism to China’s circumstances

Topic |   Books and Literature
Chinese leader Mao Zedong reviewing for the first time the armed forces of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in 1966. Mao had a hand-picked photographer, whose photos were among those most widely distributed images of the 20th century. Photo: STF/AFP Chinese leader Mao Zedong reviewing for the first time the armed forces of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in 1966. Mao had a hand-picked photographer, whose photos were among those most widely distributed images of the 20th century. Photo: STF/AFP
Chinese leader Mao Zedong reviewing for the first time the armed forces of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in 1966. Mao had a hand-picked photographer, whose photos were among those most widely distributed images of the 20th century. Photo: STF/AFP
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