Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

Book - 2011
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Perhaps no one in the twentieth century had a greater long-term impact on world history than Deng Xiaoping. And no scholar of contemporary East Asian history and culture is better qualified than Ezra Vogel to disentangle the many contradictions embodied in the life and legacy of China's boldest strategist. Once described by Mao Zedong as a "needle inside a ball of cotton," Deng was the pragmatic yet disciplined driving force behind China's radical transformation in the late twentieth century. He confronted the damage wrought by the Cultural Revolution, dissolved Mao's cult of personality, and loosened the economic and social policies that had stunted China's growth. Obsessed with modernization and technology, Deng opened trade relations with the West, which lifted hundreds of millions of his countrymen out of poverty. Yet at the same time he answered to his authoritarian roots, most notably when he ordered the crackdown in June 1989 at Tiananmen Square. Deng's youthful commitment to the Communist Party was cemented in Paris in the early 1920s, among a group of Chinese student-workers that also included Zhou Enlai. Deng returned home in 1927 to join the Chinese Revolution on the ground floor. In the fifty years of his tumultuous rise to power, he endured accusations, purges, and even exile before becoming China's preeminent leader from 1978 to 1989 and again in 1992. When he reached the top, Deng saw an opportunity to creatively destroy much of the economic system he had helped build for five decades as a loyal follower of Mao-and he did not hesitate.--From publisher information.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011.
ISBN: 9789780674052
9780674055
9780674055445
0674055446
Branch Call Number: 951.05 VOG
Characteristics: xxiv, 876 p., [22] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.

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knudson_1
Dec 14, 2014

Provides inside insights, from Deng's perspective, about the relationship of Mao to all his lead supporters and non. Deng provides a unique perspective due to his experience outside of China, which Mao lacked and thus made Deng both a threat and a promise of possibility. To Mao's credit, though he suspended Deng from roles of authority, he always brought him back. An incisive, though a bit dry, look at the leadership and Dengs impact..including his role in the Tiananmen Square Massacre of June, 1989. A quality book with scholarship, though at times a a bit dry and assumptive about elements that could be detailed. But for an 800+ page book, very well written.

afatcat Apr 29, 2012

It is very detailed and includes not only one side of view. It is very well organized and easy to follow.

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