This has been an unusual experience. As an outsider to the PRC History Group and an anonymous reviewer, I had not expected to be invited to add this commentary at the last minute. How could I say no? Aminda Smith, Fabio Lanza, and their group's engagement with the criticisms and questions posed to them, their passion for the subject, and their commitment to substantive dialogues with those who think and work differently from themselves are admirable. I am happy to continue the conversation.1

There is much to recommend in these pages that I will assign to my graduate students. This includes useful sections on sources and methodology, especially the innovative sources analyzed by Sigrid Schmalzer and Smith's call to “map the grain” of Maoist sources. The inquiries into the relationship between methods and theoretical frameworks for this period opens a path well worth pursuing with sustained effort. The self-reflection...

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