A 52 Week Curriculum For New American Maoists to Study Collectively

Black Like Mao
4 min readJan 31, 2021


Many people hit me up asking for reading recommendations and such. Study, I’ve found, is best conducted with a collective. Why? Because it helps combat subjective readings of texts, allows comrades from a variety of backgrounds and groups to struggle and analyze, and also helps get people together to think about and talk about organizing. The Bolsheviks came out of study and discussion groups, as did the Chinese Communist Party. While it’s wrong to exclusively study and not conduct practice, it’s even more wrong to exclusively practice and simply study. It’s important to do both, together. Hopefully this curriculum will help get comrades in the same area together and lay the foundation for the beginning of concrete work based on social investigation and class analysis, guided by study. Everybody studies differently. Personally, what my comrades and I do is read aloud and then discuss the reading. Discussion questions may help keep conversation from devolving into tangents but on the other hand it may be best to let comrades struggle and discuss freeform. Try it out and see what works best. Also, do the reading and film components on different days. The reading curriculum seeks to focus mainly on the material conditions of the United States and Maoist basics, with the films educating comrades on foreign affairs, revolutionary history, and movements across the world.

Week 1: The Mass Line and the American Revolutionary Movement: Chapters 1, 2 and 3. Film: How Yukong Moved the Mountains: A Barracks

Week 2: The Mass Line: Chapters 4, 5, 6 and 7. Film: How Yukong Moved the Mountains: Petroleum

Week 3: The Mass Line: Chapters 8, 9 and 10. Film: How Yukong Moved the Mountains: Impressions of a City

Week 4: The Mass Line: Chapter 11. Film: The Murder of Fred Hampton

Week 5: The Mass Line: Chapters 14, 15 and 16. Film: Grenada: The Future Coming Towards Us

Week 6: The Mass Line: Chapters 17 and 18. Film: Occupation 101

Week 7: The Mass Line: Chapter 19. Film: The Houses are Full of Smoke: The CIA in Nicaragua

Week 8: The Mass Line: Chapters 21 and 22. Film: The CIA in Guatemala

Week 9: The Mass Line: Chapters 23 and 24. Film: Thomas Sankara: The Upright Man

Week 10: Settlers: Chapters 1 and 2. Film: Finally Got the News

Week 11: Settlers: Chapters 3 and 4. Film: The Black Power Mixtape

Week 12: Settlers: Chapter 5. Film: Red Ant Dream

Week 13: Settlers: Chapter 6. Film: People of the Shining Path

Week 14: Settlers: Chapter 7. Film: The Spook Who Sat By the Door

Week 15: Settlers: Chapters 8 and 9. Film: Burn!

Week 16: Settlers: Chapters 10 and 11. Film: The Battle of Algiers.

Week 17: Settlers: Chapters 12, 13 and 14. Youtube Clip: Old Beijing Man Talks About Mao and Cultural Revolution

Week 18: Activist Study: Lesson 1. Film: Inside the New People’s Army (Part I)

Week 19: Activist Study: Lessons 2 and 3. Film: Inside the New People’s Army (Part II)

Week 20: Activist Study: Lesson 4. Film: Violence is as American as Cherry Pie

Week 21: The Crusader: May 1962-June 1964. Music: The Ballad of Old Monroe

Week 22: The Crusader: October 1964-July 1967. Clip: Robert F. Williams on Self-Defense

Week 23: The Crusader: September/October 1967-March 1968. Film: Deacons for Defense

Week 24: Rethinking Socialism: What is Socialist Transition (up to page 69). Film: Confessions of an Economic Hitman

Week 25: Rethinking Socialism (to end). Film: The Secret History of the American Empire

Week 26: On Exercising All Round Dictatorship Over the Bourgeoisie. Film: United in Anger: A History of Act Up!

Week 27: Towards A Scientific Analysis of the Gay Question (to page 53). Film: Eyes of the Rainbow

Week 28: Towards A Scientific Analysis of the Gay Question (to end). Film: Operation M.O.V.E.

Week 29: Critique of Maoist Reason (Chapters 1–4). Film: Copwatch — New York

Week 30: Critique of Maoist Reason (Chapter 5 to end). Film: They Say they Will

Week 31: The State and Revolution (Chapters 1 and 2). Film: Ferguson: A Report from Occupied Territory

Week 32: The State and Revolution (Chapters 3 and 4). Film: Operation Paperclip: The CIA and the Nazis

Week 33: The State and Revolution (Chapters 5 and 6). Film: Kinfolk: A Kinloch Documentary

Week 34: What Is A “Comrade” and Why We Use the Term and On the Correct Handling of a Revolution

Week 35: Combat Liberalism and 20 Manifestations of Bureaucracy

Week 36: Kill Yourself or Liberate Yourself: The Real US Imperialist Policy on Gang Violence vs. The Revolutionary Alternative. Film: Crips and Bloods: Made in America

Week 37: In Defense of Looting (Chapters 1 and 2). Film: LA ‘92

Week 38: In Defense of Looting (Chapters 3 and 4).

Week 39: In Defense of Looting (Chapters 5 and 6).

Week 40: In Defense of Looting (Chapters 7 and 8)

Week 41: In Defense of Looting (Chapters 9 and Conclusion)

Week 42: Gramsci and Gonzalo. Film: People and Power: The New Shining Path

Week 43: What Went Wrong With the Pol Pot Regime. Film: Cambodia: Year Zero

Week 44: Women’s Leadership and the Revolution in Nepal. Film: Nepal’s Maoist Revolution

Week 45: Philosophical Trends in the Feminist Movement (through Anarcho-Feminism)

Week 46: Philosophical Trends (Through Conclusion). Film: Kanehsatake

Week 47: Standards of Feminist Conduct

Week 48: The Working Class Must Exercise Leadership in Everything

Week 49: A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the International Communist Movement

Week 50: On Khrushchev’s Phony Communism and Its Historical Lessons for the World

Week 51: On the Significance of the Great October Socialist Revolution

Week 52: Role of the Youth and Tasks of Anakbayan