Robert E. Allinson: The Philosophical Influences of Mao Zedong. Notations, Reflections and Insights

Selusi Ambrogio
2022 Asian Studies  
This book is not merely a history of Mao's thought, as it presents a philosophical inquest on its development. It is also a philosophical reflection on the state of contemporary Chinese society and culture employing Mao's philosophical keys. What Allinson provides is a completely new narrative of the so-called Great Helmsman's intellectual profile and all of 20th Chinese culture. This is the right book at the right moment for understanding China's incredible growth and deep contradictions, but
more » ... lso the new Chinese diplomatic impatience towards unequal treatment on the international stage. Mao's most unacceptable and dramatic decisions find a new coherency that, in this case, contradicts the thesis of the "banality of evil". Allinson shows an excellent capacity to freely reflect with the thinker without lessening the tragic consequences of his political decisions. As the author states: "Mao represents a unique mixture between Plato's philosopher king and Plato's tyrant of the Republic" (p. 100).
doi:10.4312/as.2022.10.2.399-403 fatcat:vdwk3ykrkfa6rnaajjaaid3zvy