The rhetorical espousal of Mao as tutelary spirit

Dalrymple points out that the soixante-huitards did not have the faintest interest in what Mao Tse-tung was actually like or what he had wrought. Mao was ‘a mythical being onto whom the most beautiful characters could be projected, and never mind if he was a sadistic executioner responsible for the deaths of millions. What are a few million dead Chinese to set against the ideals of the Left Bank?’

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