Pankaj Mishra

Spring forward, fall back

Republics, as much as monarchies, need founding myths in order to legitimise themselves in the eyes of their subjects. For a long time, the image of Chairman Mao leading his rag-tag troops over 10,000 kilometers, across 18 mountain ranges and 24 rivers, offered abundant proof of communist bravery, endurance and selfless idealism to the Chinese.

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