Deng Xiaoping and the Making of Modern China: Revised Edition

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9780140267471: Deng Xiaoping and the Making of Modern China: Revised Edition

A western account of the man who, more than anybody controlled the path of twentieth-century Chinese history.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

From a prominent Sinologist, once British ambassador in Peking: an authoritative if numbingly detailed biography of the aging communist revolutionary and leader. Drawing on such archival material as is available, on personal contacts, and on secondary sources, Evans (Wolfson College, Oxford) pieces together an account of Deng Xiaoping's life from his birth in 1904 (to a modestly prosperous land-owning couple in Sichuan Province) to the present-day. Though in failing health and effectively out of office, Deng remains China's most powerful patriarch--a status he's won not only in countless battles with the Chinese Nationalists, the WW II Japanese, Politburo adversaries, and a host of other foes, but also by dint of a practicable, if flinty, vision for his country's future. Evans provides rather more particulars than most general readers may care to absorb on the archon of Maoist doctrine and survivor of its often deadly infighting; and the same holds true for his profiles of the party careerists Deng passed or surpassed on his long march to eminence. Generally, Evans does a good job of illuminating the Cultural Revolution and other obstacles that delayed Deng's ascent, nor does he shy away from evaluating his subject's performance once he had reached the top. Among other things, Sir Richard accords Deng high marks for setting China on the road to rapid economic development and for bringing it into the international mainstream, although he faults him for underestimating the force of the reform movement he unwittingly unleashed. Even so, Sir Richard concludes that China may become a country with many permitted freedoms, although one where pluralistic democracy is not practiced. Excruciatingly circumstantial, yet as comprehensive a look at the hitherto shadowy leader as we're likely to have any time soon. (Eight pages of photographs--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Deng Xiaoping, last of the great Communist revolutionaries, is the most powerful man in the world's largest country. Yet due to the scarcity of materials on Deng, whether official or personal, never before has there been a full-length biography published in English. A former British ambassador to China (1984-88), Evans has interviewed many Chinese officials with government approval and presented this study of Deng, the first in English. Evans describes Deng's life in the context of major political events, such as the Long March, Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, and Tiananmen Square. His book is well researched and full of insightful observations. It also can be read not only as a biography of one man's life but also as a lucid introduction to modern Chinese history. Highly recommended for all libraries.
- Mark Meng, St. John's Univ. Lib., New York
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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