The Years of Mao. History and Politics today - Reflects on how political changes that have taken place in the People’s Republic of China (Prc) during the era of economic reform, together with changes that have taken place in the world at large since 1989, especially those following the collapse of Communism in Europe, have shaped the way in which historians inside and outside the Prc have written the history of the Mao era (1949 to 1976). The article examines both Chinese and western historiography of four key issues relating to the Mao era: the idea of the 1950s as a "golden age"; the Great Leap Forward (1958-61); the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) and the view of Mao himself. The more negative representation of these issues derives, in part, from the fact that scholars now have much greater access to sources than was true prior to the 1980s. At the same time, the more negative representation it is bound up with political changes that have occurred inside and outside the Prc. For that reason, the historiography of the Mao may be said to represent an almost textbook example of the way in which historical writing is implicated in the politics of the present. Keywords: China, Communism, Mao, Economy, Historiography, History. Parole chiave: Cina, Comunismo, Mao, Economia, Storiografia, Storia.