RAS Book Club

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

Author: Ezra F. Vogel, 2011

The Deng Xiao Ping Era

Each month, the RAS will focus on a particularly topic for our events; November being Deng Xiao Ping.

Using a quote from our book selection “The (structural) changes that took place under Deng’s leadership rank among the most basic changes since the Chinese empire took shape during the Han Dynasty more than two millennium ago.” (Ezra Vogel)

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

Deng (b. 1904 – d. 1997) was a Communist revolutionary and military commander under Mao Zedong and was twice purged by Mao. In 1978, two years after Mao’s death, Deng emerged as China’s de facto leader. He continued to play this role for the next fourteen years.

Vogel’s frames his biography around Deng’s rise to power and the reforms he championed that achieved cultural stability and transformed China into an economic powerhouse. He examines how China went from being a desperately poor country to one of the most important countries in the world today.

Ezra F. Vogel (b 1930) is Henry Ford II Research Professor of the Social Sciences emeritus at Harvard University. He is also former Director of Harvard’s Fairbank Center for East Asian Research and Harvard University Asia Center. At the invitation of the Guangdong Provincial Government in 1987, he spent eight months studying the provinces’ economic progress since 1978. From 1993 to 1995, Vogel took a two-year leave from teaching and served as U.S. National Intelligence Officer for East Asia. He has visited East Asia at least once a year since 1958 and has spent a total of more than six years in Asia. He speaks Chinese and Japanese and lectures often in Asia in these languages.

RSVP: bookevents@royalasiaticsociety.org.cn