The Corner

Mao’s BFF at NC State

Andrew: Yesterday you linked to a story on the College Fix about a dean at NC State who described Mao Zedong as one of his “best friends.” Now Robby Soave has followed up, in an exclusive interview with Mao’s BFF, Jeffrey Baden:

When asked what he meant by using the word ‘friends’ to describe Mao and the other individuals, he said, “The friends are intellectual companions, if you will, people who influence one’s thinking.”

Braden said that Mao, specifically, had influenced his thinking on China.

“It’s helped me understand more about China, which is of course a fundamental influence in our world today,” he said. “It’s helped me understand what inspired the Cultural Revolution in China.”

He also explained that he does not share Mao’s views.

“I think it’s incredibly important for people to be exposed to a wide range of ideas,” he said. “If they inferred from that that I agreed with Mao, a communist, they would be wrong.”

With friends like Mao, who needs enemies?

Speaking of friends: For more news and opinion from the frontlines of our higher ed, friend the College Fix on Facebook!

John J. Miller — John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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