As many of my colleagues have pointed out, last week China celebrated Mao Zedong’s birthday. Mao was many things to many people. For me, he was first and foremost a revolutionary. Mao was at least as significant to revolutions in the 20th century as Vladimir Lenin, and Mao’s model of revolution—building support among the peasantry before moving to the cities—was widely emulated by anti-colonial leaders throughout the world. During his time in power, Mao also gave material support to many of these anti-colonial movements.