Students and teachers will welcome this new addition to the DeFrancis series of Chinese language texts. The famous little red book of Mao Tse-tung’s thoughts contains basic ideas that permeate virtually all discussion in China of a wide range of topics war and peace, socialism and communism, culture and art, women and youth, study and education, politics and government, economics and philosophy, morality and ethics, and so on. The Annotated Quotations provides the original Chinese text together with a complete pinyin transcription. The annotation includes regular characters, simplified forms, pinyin transcription, and English definitions. Structural notes are provided for passages of special difficulty. A cumulative glossary of first occurrences of all characters and vocabulary items not in the Index Volume to the DeFrancis series concludes the work.
From the point of view of language teaching, an important feature of Chairman Mao’s book is that its didactic objective has resulted in precisely the kind of repetition and review that textbook writers work hard to achieve. Furthermore, his writing style is generally simple and clear, and there are few extremely rare characters. For students at various levels of language competence starting at the level of DeFrancis’s Beginning Chinese Reader, Part II, the Annotated Quotations provides an excellent introduction to the vast body of materials published in the People’s Republic of China.