Click here to go to section one of "Breaking the Vessel."
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|A model of Mao's childhood classroom in Shaoshan.|
The characters read (r-l) 忠 "loyalty" and 孝 "filial piety."
Zhang Zhupo (1670-1698) describes this kind of reading in the context of complicated 100-chapter novels—a method for “reading like a writer” that would keep ignorance (and deception) at bay.
This is a kind of historical reading that is lauded more than it is practiced, and which requires a great deal more skill than a hackneyed goal of “learning history so as not to repeat it” (one of the weakest statements ever made). It requires a special skill that combines reading, thought, action, and reassessment. If practiced rigorously, it is one of the highest skills of statecraft, and not just any “casebook” will do. Mao demanded a work that would sustain methodical use—a work that would stand up to real managerial understanding.
|Mao's childhood home in Shaoshan|