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In the Maoist period, authors and the communist literary establishment shared the belief that art could reshape reality, and was thus just as crucial to the political establishment as building new infrastructure or developing advanced weaponry. Literature the People Loves investigates the production of a literary system designed to meet the needs of a newly revolutionary society in China, decentering the Cold War understanding of communist culture. Krista Van Fleit Hang shows readers how to understand the intersection of gender, tradition, and communist ideology in essential texts. Rather than arguing for or against the literary merits of the works of the early Maoist period, the book presents a sympathetic understanding of culture from a period in China's history in which people's lives were greatly affected by political events.

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