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Mao and China in World History High School Textbooks

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A picture is worth a thousand words, as the old saying goes. In two recent high school world history textbooks, Mao’s picture appears in tellingly different ways. In World History: Connections to Today (Prentice Hall, 2003), Mao appears well into the section on China in “Nationalism and Revolution Around the World ( 1910- 1939).” It is a photo of a distinctly older Mao from the 1970s (I suspect from the time of Nixon’s visit in 1972). It appears in a box on page 863 that reviews Mao’s call to “let a hundred flowers bloom” in the 1950s- and the purge of critics to which it led. The tag study question is: ”What methods did Mao use to keep power to himself?”