Yan'an News Memorial Hall in Yanan Shi, China

As a correspondent for "The New York Times" quipped in early 2018, “People joke that it’s now easier in many Chinese cities to use Communist Party slogans rather than street names to give directions.” Propaganda is everywhere in China—giant red banners espousing the virtue of party loyalty are an inescapable fixture of the modern landscape. In Mandarin, the word “propaganda” itself has come to mean, simply, to “publicity.”

The News Memorial Hall in Yan’an highlights the...

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