Credited as the architect that brought the Chinese economy into the global market, Deng Xiaoping is considered one of China’s greatest leaders. From his peasant upbringing, to his political rise in Bejing, this complete biography gives a rare look inside the private life of the celebrated politician.
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Richard Evans is the Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His books include Death in Hamburg (winner of the Wolfson Literary Award for History), In Hitler's Shadow, Rituals of Retribution (winner of the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History), In Defense of History, Lying About Hitler, and The Coming of the Third Reich.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.
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