Quotations From Chairman Mao, known in the West as "the Little Red Book", was printed in China in several different sizes, of which the most popular was a small size that according to many accounts allowed it to be carried about with ease and to fit into a shirt pocket. What actually was this size?

  • My copy was about 4" by 6", that is, about 10 cm by 15 cm. The video clip at bbc.com/news/magazine-34932800 shows a modern British politician holding a copy of this size. May 16, 2021 at 21:13
  • Thanks for this. I'm not sure that was the most "popular" size though. That's on the small side for a book, but not really "little". A friend had a copy she got in China which was smaller. David Aaronovitch says 6" too, but another place shows a 5" x 3.5" book, albeit for an English edition but still issued by the Chinese state so probably the same size as a Chinese edition.
    – ruffle
    May 17, 2021 at 8:05
  • 1
    The "most popular" edition is supposed to have fitted well into shirt pockets, and Sun Yat-sen suits or "Mao suits" as they are known in the West have big pockets so 6" x 4" is possible even if I'd call 5" x 3.5" more of a "pocket size" than 6" x 4" which is more of a "postcard size" that is used for quite a few paperback books. (That said, the "most popular" LRB edition had vinyl-covered cardboard boards and so wasn't a paperback, and one expects hardbacks to be bigger than paperbacks, so 6" x 4" might be "little" for a hardback.) The answer is probably one of these two sizes.
    – ruffle
    May 17, 2021 at 8:10
  • According to the Bibliographical Society of America, the first edition had "a page size larger than subsequent printings", having a height of 5+3/8 inches. There is a copy for sale at AbeBooks that is 126mm x 91mm or 5.0" x 3.6", which has roughly the height/width ratio I remember from my friend's copy, being smaller than 1.5. But this is all guesswork. Hopefully someone will answer who knows for a fact.
    – ruffle
    May 17, 2021 at 8:27
  • As @ruffle said, most popular size would be one that could fit in your shirt's breast pocket . Something like this : th.bing.com/th/id/…
    – rs.29
    May 17, 2021 at 9:03


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