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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 25th August 2017 > PARTING SHOT

PARTING SHOT

‘People Crossing the Yellow River With a Photo of Mao Zedong, 2012’

MAO ZEDONG scored some of his greatest achievements while in swimming trunks. In 1956, he swam the Yangtze River and wrote a revolutionary poem imagining it transformed by industry. In 1958, he hosted a Sino-Soviet pool party and put Nikita Khrushchev in his place; the then-head of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party couldn’t swim and was famously photographed in the shallow end, wearing a child’s “water wings.” In 1966, Mao organized a swimathon that proved a founding moment of the Cultural Revolution, China’s brutal attempt to cleanse itself of what he deemed ideological impurities. Five thousand people splashed beside the Great Helmsman, under placards wishing him 10,000 years of life.

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READY FOR WAR? CAN TRUMP'S GENERALS SAVE AMERICA FROM TRUMP? Trump calls them “my generals,” a title their colleagues say makes them a bit uncomfortable. And now, six months into a chaotic administration, under an unpredictable president who many fear isn’t fit for the job, the skepticism that many of their friends initially evinced has been replaced by something else: “relief,” says Johns Hopkins military historian Eliot Cohen. “These are grown-ups in grown-up jobs. God knows this administration needs them.”
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