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''to build a new world of peace and democracy''

Mao Zedong, Chinese statesman (1893-1976). Autograph inscription signed in: Mao Zedong, "Hsin min-chu-chu-i lun" ("On New Democracy").

No place, 1942.

8vo. (4), 54, (2) pp. Original printed wrappers. Stored in custom-made half morocco case with gilt spine.

Of the utmost rarity: Mao's important work "On New Democracy" with an autograph inscription by Mao to a French aristocrat fleeing the invading Japanese. On the front cover and its inside, Mao dedicated the book in Chinese characters with a calligraphic brush, writing: "Let us unite with all democratic countries to conquer the Japanese-Italian-German fascism and to build a new world of peace and democracy. Mao Tse-Tung for Mr. d'Anjou". The "New Democracy" to which Mao refers in the title of this work, written in 1940, was fundamental to his political thought: it denotes the democracy brought about by the proletarian revolution, in contrast to the bourgeois revolution's "old democracy". The founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 is considered the consummation of New Democracy.

Comte Rene-Charles d'Anjou (b. 1914), a descendant from French royalty, had fled westward from Japanese-occupied Beijing in 1942. During his eight-month flight, he met the forces of General Lin-Piao and soon became acquainted with Mao at the communists' headquarters in Yanan, where Mao invited the French journalist and his companion to dinner. D'Anjou wrote an account of his encounter with Mao which was published in several newspapers, and we include the photocopy of one such article ("Un déjeuner de campagne avec Mao") which appeared in the weekend edition of Le Figaro, 18/19 Sept. 1976, p. 2, further corroborating the authenticity of the inscribed book.

The present piece was originally sold at Stargardt in 1977 (sale 612, lot 1435), and we further include an original copy of the Stargardt catalogue. It was subsequently sold at Christie's in 1983 (16 Dec., lot 502) before being offered by the respected American autograph dealer Paul Richards (1939-93) in 1993. Since its sale by Richards, this piece has remained in a private European collection. Mao's signature is exceptionally rare, and as an example of this length and quality of content, it must be considered unique.