Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izd. politicheskoĭ literatury, 1939. First edition. Hardcover. Octavo. 101pp. . Tan cloth over blue cloth boards. Front cover with gilt and blind-stamped lettering in Cyrillic text, and a red label with Chinese characters. Spine with gilt lettering and embossed blind-stamped motifs. Tan textured mottled endpapers. Red ribbon marker. Illustrated tipped-in frontispiece portrait of Mao and an illustrated title page. Contains 4 colored photographic reproductions depicting Mao during the 1920s and 30s. This work is a fascinating early autobiography of Mao Tse-Tung, which was published in the Soviet Union during the time of the Second Sino-Japanese War.
At this time the communists were engaged in a temporary alliance with KMT, in a United Front to defeat the Japanese. The book covers the period from his birth until the time of its publication. It is preceded by Edgar Snow's "Red Star Over China", published two years earlier, taken from his time spent with Mao and the Red army in 1936, which is considered the earliest piece of autobiographical material on Mao Tse-Tung*. The contents of this work are based on the same interviews conducted by Snow, which were the basis for chapter 4 of his book. This publication is believed to be among the earliest biographical literature on Mao, and is the first in Russian.
Appended to the main text of the autobiography is a section of supplementary texts, including an interview with Mao conducted at a student union in Yan'an, Shaanxi province (which was at the time the seat of power for the communist government) on July 2 1938. The interview was originally published on July 25th 1938 in Xinhua Newspaper, which by that time was already the official press organ of the Communist Party of China. The final section is an official declaration by Mao in support of the leftist Republicans against the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War, ideologically linking their struggles together, in a global war against fascism. Table of contents at the rear. Text in Russian.
Binding with some light rubbing to extremities, with minor scratches and smudges to the covers. Boards slightly bowed. Interior with starting at page 32. Book block tight overall. Binding in very good-, interior in very good condition overall. The work is scarce, with only five libraries worldwide holding the book. vg- to vg. Item #42928
*The earliest verified autobiographical material was found in 2001, which precedes the publication of Snow's book by a month, and probably originates from the same source material.
*Shortly after the publication of the book in Russia, Mao wrote a article, published December 20, 1939, titled "Stalin, Friend of the Chinese People" (斯大林是中国人民的朋友) congratulating the soviet leader on his birthday. It was seen as a positive response to the publication of this work.