Updated Sunday 15 May, 2011 12:18 PM

   Headlines  |  Alternate Histories  |  International Edition

Home Page


Alternate Histories

International Edition

List of Updates

Want to join?

Join Writer Development Section

Writer Development Member Section

Join Club ChangerS


Chris Comments

Book Reviews


Letters To The Editor


Links Page

Terms and Conditions



Alternate Histories

International Edition

Alison Brooks



Other Stuff


If Baseball Integrated Early


Today in Alternate History

This Day in Alternate History Blog








Mao's Little Red Book

 by Steve Payne

Author says: what if the central figures of the "Cold War" had used their talents to pursue careers in art and literature? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

April 3rd 1964,

this day would mark the beginning of the Cultural Revolution with the celebrated Chinese poet Mao Zedong (pictured, left) publishing his pocket-sized "Little Red Book" of verse.

A new installment from the "Happy Hitler Artist" ThreadBorn into a peasant family in 1893, Mao was denied the classic education which other middle class Englightenment figures would enjoy. And yet despite the crushing setback of poverty, he was nurtured with an abiding love of the classics of Chinese literature.

He was particularly fond of the great Chinese poets Tang and Song who fine-tuned the use of imagery as a literary device. The application of this model is revealed in one of his most famous poem "The Gods" which ends with the powerful image "Tears fly down from a great upturned bowl of rice". By alluding to the beheading of his wife and sister by the Chinest Nationalists during the 1930s, Mao exposes both his vulnerability and the immensity of the loss.

"A poet's life isn't a dinner party... or power comes from the barrel of pen... " - reader's commentAnd yet the catalist for Mao's career in verse was a chance meeting with an obscure Vietnamese Poet. Because during his imprisonment in 1942, Nguyen Ai Qoc (pictured, right)1 redefined the device of imagery, famously telling Mao that "When the prison doors are open, the real dragon will fly out".

Many years later, Andy Warhol would transform Mao into a global icon. And Frederic Tuten wrote the brilliant Dadaesque novel, "The Adventures of Mao on the Long March" which was published in 1971.

Author says please note that the original ideas were proposed by John P. Braungart on Google Groups. Nguyen Ai Qoc is the birthname of Ho Chi Minh.to view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

Steve Payne, Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


Site Meter


Hit Counter