Ye Olde China on 5th Avenue

China is changing at such a rapid pace, the old socialist realism and patriotic romanticism of the ’50s through ’80s is receding from memory and practice. Occasionally, I find relics of that past, when the store China Books and Periodicals — a Maoist outpost on 5th Avenue and 20th Street in New York City — sold heaps of graphic propaganda to innocent capitalist children for 25 cents up to $1. The idea wasn’t to make profit (although the paper probably cost more to ship to the U.S. than to print in China) but to make hay with malleable American minds.

I scarfed up scores of these below. Today the same storefront is a TUMI bag shop. Ah the joys of high rents and capital.

the old china 4 the old china the old china 3 the old china 2 the old china 1


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