Left: "New Year in Yenan," the 1973 poster above, is probably a stylized depiction of a legendary moment in Communist history: the end of Mao's famed 1934-1935 Long March, which carried his Red Army 6,000 miles across central China, depositing him finally at what's now called Yan'an in 1936. The Long March was itself a "propaganda force," as Mao wrote, as well as a military maneuver, offering Mao a chance to demonstrate his commitment to revolution. Today, Yan'an is a hub for "red tourism" celebrating China's revolutionary past.
Right: "Picking Herbs," by Liu Chi-Ho. With 20 million people starving in the fields during the Great Leap Forward, Mao instituted the "barefoot doctor" program: a rural health network of community-trained physicians who delivered children, helped fight epidemics in the country-side, and integrated Chinese traditional medicines with Western-style remedies to tend to farmers (and re-located city-dwellers). It was a relatively successful system, but nonetheless the reality of Communist rural health care bore little resemblance to the cheerful depiction of medicinal herb-gathering in this print.