The second edition of a book about Karl Marx, aimed at boosting the 19th-century thinker's appeal among young people, was published on Friday.
The book, "Reliable Marx," was released by a subsidiary of the People's Publishing House at the 26th National Book Expo in north China's Inner Mongolia.
"We would like to bring Marx closer to our readers," said Zhong Jun, a research fellow with the Academy of Marxism of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "In the book, we depicted a real and colorful Marx who still seems alive," Zhong said.
Marxism is the guiding theory in philosophy and the social sciences in China. Courses on Marxism are required in Chinese schools, but many students find them boring.
In May a nine-episode talk show about Marx and Marxism debuted on Inner Mongolia Satellite Televison. A song from the program, called "Marx Is A Post-1990," went viral online, featuring rap lyrics about pop star Bruno Mars and declaring Marx an honorary member of China's "post-90s" generation.
The first edition of the book, based on the TV program, was published in June. Zhong, one of the book's editors, didn't disclose sales numbers, but told Xinhua that it was among the top ten most popular books that month.
"Several chapters were available online, with each getting two to three million hits," he said.
The book introduced the works of Karl Marx, such as "Das Kapital" and "The Communist Manifesto," through story-telling. It also discussed the problems young Chinese people face and attempt to give solutions based on Marxist methodology and perspectives.
Most editors of the book are in their 30s, according to Zhong. "They know how young people in China think and how they speak," Zhong said.
The book includes chapters with titles like "Marx joined two groups on WeChat" and "The lasting bromance."
Humorous, modern takes on history and the classics have become popular in China in the past decade. In 2006, a customs officer in south China's Guangdong province rose to fame after he wrote an Internet slang-filled book about the history of China's Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644).
The book has already won over some young fans since its initial June release.
"Cool. It is an original and lovely book. I can understand the boring theories now," wrote Sohu forum commenter "Pidan," who has read "Reliable Marx."
"Karl Marx is no longer the old man with a beard as portrayed in the picture in our textbooks next to Chairman Mao," said commenter Dongchongxiacao on a Xinhuanet forum. "He was so talented. After reading 'Reliable Marx,' I want to examine his works."