It has hitherto been impossible to assess the approach and activities of the Maoists in the Dandakaranya region in central India. We now have four documents - two authored by senior leaders of the Maoists and two sympathetic accounts - which allow us to evaluate in a limited fashion the work of the Maoists over the past quarter century of operations. The story that comes across is a dismal one. The State earlier did nothing for the adivasis but, considering the time the Maoists have spent in the region, they themselves have achieved little by way of adivasi welfare, be it in wages, education, health or agriculture. This is because the Maoists' politics of waging guerrilla warfare on the road to seizure of state power has meant that they must focus on using the adivasis for their war.