《毛主席语录》是在对毛泽东的个人崇拜从兴起到达到顶峰的历史时期编选、出版的，因此它的发行量和影响面都达到了中国出版史上的极限。据不完全统计，1966年下半年，全国各省、市、自治区发动了二、三百家印刷厂印制《毛主席语录》，在中共‘九大’召开前形成高潮，绝大多数省市都按人口数量印刷，以至几乎达到了全国人手一册。从1966年10月中宣部批准出口到1967年5月，仅八个月时间,中国国际书店已向全世界117个国家和地区发行了英、法、西班牙、日、俄、德、意、尼泊尔、越南、印度尼西亚、阿拉伯、缅甸、斯尼希里、波斯等十四种文字的《语录》共80多万册。更有研究者推算，仅“文革”几年之内，国内外就出版了用50多种文字印成的500多种版本,总印数为 50余亿册，被称为“二十世纪世界上最流行的书”。 (来源：英语麦当劳www.EnglishCN.com)
Chairman Mao Tse-tung
Study Chairman Mao"s writings, follow his teachings and act according to his instructions
FOREWORD TO THE SECOND EDITION
Comrade Mao Tse-tung is the greatest Marxist-Leninist of our era. He has inherited, defended and developed Marxism-Leninism with genius, creatively and comprehensively and has brought it to a higher and completely new stage.
Mao Tse-tung"s thought is Marxism-Leninism of the era in which imperialism is heading for total collapse and socialism is advancing to world-wide victory. It is a powerful ideological weapon for opposing imperialism and for opposing revisionism and dogmatism. Mao Tse-tung"s thought is the guiding principle for all the work of the Party, the army and the country.
Therefore, the most fundamental task in our Party"s political and ideological work is at all times to hold high the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung"s thought, to arm the minds of the people throughout the country with it and to persist in using it to command every field of activity. The broad masses of the workers, peasants and soldiers and the broad ranks of the revolutionary cadres and the intellectuals should rcally master Mao Tse-tung"s thought; they should all study Chairman Mao"s writings, follow his teachings, act according to his instructions and be his good fighters.
In studying the works of Chairman Mao, one should have specific problems in mind, study and apply his works in a creative way, combine study with application, first study what must be urgently applied so as to get quick results, and strive hard to apply what one is studying. In order really to master Mao Tse-tung"s thought, it is essential to study many of Chairman Mao"s basic concepts over and over again, and it is best to memorize important statements and study and apply them repeatedly. The newspapers should regularly carry quotations from Chairman Mao relevant to current issues for readers to study and apply.
The experience of the broad masses in their creative study and application of Chairman Mao"s works in the last few years has proved that to study selected quotations from Chairman Mao with specific problems in mind is a good way to learn Mao Tse-tung"s thought, a method conducive to quick results.
We have compiled Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung in order to help the broad masses learn Mao Tse-tung"s thought more effectively. In organizing their study, units should select passages that are relevant to the situation, their tasks, the current thinking of their personnel, and the state of their work.
In our great motherland, a new era is emerging in which the workers, peasants and soldiers are grasping Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung"s thought. Once Mao Tse-tung"s thought is grasped by the broad masses, it becomes an inexhaustible source of strength and a spiritual atom bomb of infinite power. The large-scale publication of Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung is a vital measure for enabling the broad masses to grasp Mao Tse-tung"s thought and for promoting the revolutionization of our people"s thinking. It is our hope that all comrades will learn earnestly and diligently, bring about a new nation-wide high tide in the creative study and application of Chairman Mao"s works and, under the great red banner of Mao Tse-tung"s thought, strive to build our country into a great socialist state with modern agriculture, modern industry, modern science and culture and modern national defence!
December 16, 1966