- Hardcover: 928 pages
- Publisher: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (Sept. 26 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0674055446
- ISBN-13: 978-0674055445
- Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 5.7 x 26 cm
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #369,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China Hardcover – Sep 26 2011
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Vogel offers a nuanced portrait of China's great reform leader Deng Xiaoping and a shrewd analysis of the political maneuvers by which he made such a large mark on history. By entering deeply into Deng's vision for China, Vogel shows how the person who forged the world's most successful example of modernizing authoritarianism understood how such a system could work. And he shows how a major leader can steer a huge country in a new historical direction. A terrific accomplishment.
--Andrew J. Nathan, Columbia University
Not just a definitive biography of a world-class leader, but also the most authoritative and riveting account of the secretly contrived U.S.-Chinese strategic accommodation of 1978 and of how that in turn facilitated China's domestic transformation.
A multilayered study of change and adaptability. At the core is one man's response to the dangers of a complex revolution. Around him is the transformation of the largest political entity in history from rural disarray and helplessness to an industrial and manufacturing giant. In between are ambitious and bewildered people in search of leadership. Vogel has made Deng Xiaoping's vision convincing, the Chinese maze comprehensible, and even the bit actors come alive.
--Wang Gungwu, National University of Singapore
This is an impressive and important biography of one of the most important men of the twentieth century. Deng Xiaoping transformed China economically, politically, and socially. One of the most significant achievements for his and my country was the establishment of diplomatic relations between us. The book provides an excellent account of this historic event.
--President Jimmy Carter
Deng Xiaoping's skill, vision, and courage in overcoming seemingly insuperable obstacles and guiding China onto the path of sustained economic development rank him with the great leaders of history. And yet, too little is known about the life and career of this extraordinary man. In this superbly researched and highly readable biography, Vogel has definitively filled this void. This fascinating book provides a host of insights into the factors that enabled Deng to triumph over repeated setbacks and lay the basis for China to regain the wealth and power that has eluded it for two centuries.
--J. Stapleton Roy, former U.S. Ambassador to China
Deng could be tough, but he was direct and engaged. He was a person we could do business with, and I liked him a lot. He played an extraordinary role, bringing the world's largest nation into the modern world. We are fortunate that Vogel, one of our foremost China scholars, has now brought the man alive in this uniquely researched biography.
A thorough picking-over of Deng Xiaoping's record and accomplishments, setting him firmly as the linchpin linking an antiquated authoritative thinking to modern growth and acceleration...Vogel meticulously considers all facets of this complex leader for an elucidating--and quite hefty--study. (Kirkus Reviews 2011-07-15)
[An] impressive and exhaustively researched biography...Vogel reminds readers that it was under this pragmatic politician's watch that the party made three moves that helped it outlast so many other Leninist organizations.
--Jeffrey Wasserstrom (Miller-McCune.com 2011-06-30)
From arguably the most important scholar of East Asia, this is an important book on the force behind China's transformation in the late twentieth century, whose full fruits are visible only today. Deng ordered the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, but he was also the person most responsible for modernizing China and opening it to trade with the West. Again and again he survived threatening challenges in the Chinese political bureaucracy, to emerge at the top in the late 1970s. His role in subverting Chinese orthodoxy from the inside is comparable to that of Gorbachev with respect to the Soviet Union--and he deserves sustained attention such as this landmark book offers.
--Anis Shivani (Huffington Post 2011-07-09)
This intensely researched doorstop delivers a step-by-step political biography of the man who gets most of the credit for China's spectacular rise to an economic juggernaut. Vogel recounts how Deng (1904–1997), a leading figure from the 1950s on, was banished when his preference for practicality over class struggle angered Mao Zedong during the disastrous 1969–1975 Cultural Revolution. Returning to power after Mao's 1976 death, he eliminated the anti-intellectualism and chaotic policy swings that characterized Mao's rule while opening the nation to Western ideas. The result was China's emergence as the world's most dynamic economy, with a free market but still with a disturbing absence of political freedom (he gives a nuanced analysis of the Tiananmen Square massacres)...Scholars will value it. (Publishers Weekly 2011-07-18)
About the Author
Ezra F. Vogel is Henry Ford II Research Professor of the Social Sciences, Emeritus, at Harvard University and former Director of Harvard’s Fairbank Center for East Asian Research and the Harvard University Asia Center.
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"Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China" is the story of how this happened. It's not just the story of Deng, but the story of the Chinese people, the flaws and strengths of the leaders who have risen to its positions of power, how their government functions (the differences are amazing!), the role of the Communist Party of China and the influence held by its leaders. The book gives the reader insight into Chinese society, the difference in their way of thinking and how things are done, and how, with a strong centralized government, China was able to vault from a rural peasant-based economy, to a country on the leading edge of manufacturing technology.
While we may protest human rights, climate change, their form of government, and other ills, it is a fact that China is now a powerhouse that is still forging ahead while other countries flounder after the 2008 recession. At a time when we're lucky to have a growth rate of 2% a year, China's is over 6% a year. This book is a must-read for any person interested in the global economy (whether you love it or hate it), international politics (whether you agree or disagree), and what the future holds for international trade (whether you like it or not). It's also a wake-up call to what the future holds for the rest of us if we don't get our financial houses in order. Cause right now, China's holding all the cards.
Ezra Vogel has done a tremendous job in outlining the rise of China from the 1920s to the present, the setbacks (and they were very serious ones!) that they had, the influence and politics of the persons involved, and how this change took place. His life-long career at Yale in East-Asian studies and, more particularly on China, has given Professor Vogel insight into Chinese society and the changes that have taken place over the decades. He was fortunate to have spent time in China at a time when the changes that Deng instituted were taken place, giving him first-hand knowledge of what was taking place and the impact it had on Chinese society.
At more than 750 pages, it's a long and slow read. It's definitely not a one-night stand. Take it a few pages at a time. Re-read some of the pages to get a clear understanding of events and the cast of characters involved. Reflect on those sections you have just read. Eztra Vogel has given lectures on his book. They're available on Youtube. They're just as interesting as his book. Watch these videos as you read. They will give you a clear understanding of "Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China".
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