Monday, January 22, 2018

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China By Ezra F. Vogel

Harvard University Press, 2013 

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.

  • Map: China in the 1980s
  • Preface: In Search of Deng
  • Introduction: The Man and His Mission
  • Deng’s Background
    • 1. From Revolutionary to Builder to Reformer, 1904–1969
  • Deng’s Tortuous Road to the Top, 1969–1977
    • 2. Banishment and Return, 1969–1974
    • 3. Bringing Order under Mao, 1974–1975
    • 4. Looking Forward under Mao, 1975
    • 5. Sidelined as the Mao Era Ends, 1976
    • 6. Return under Hua, 1977–1978
  • Creating the Deng Era, 1978–1980
    • 7. Three Turning Points, 1978
    • 8. Setting the Limits of Freedom, 1978–1979
    • 9. The Soviet-Vietnamese Threat, 1978–1979
    • 10. Opening to Japan, 1978
    • 11. Opening to the United States, 1978–1979
    • 12. Launching the Deng Administration, 1979–1980
  • The Deng Era, 1978–1989
    • 13. Deng’s Art of Governing
    • 14. Experiments in Guangdong and Fujian, 1979–1984
    • 15. Economic Readjustment and Rural Reform, 1978–1982
    • 16. Accelerating Economic Growth and Opening, 1982–1989
    • 17. One Country, Two Systems: Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet
    • 18. The Military: Preparing for Modernization
    • 19. The Ebb and Flow of Politics
  • Challenges to the Deng Era, 1989–1992
    • 20. Beijing Spring, April 15–May 17, 1989
    • 21. The Tiananmen Tragedy, May 17–June 4, 1989
    • 22. Standing Firm, 1989–1992
    • 23. Deng’s Finale: The Southern Journey, 1992
  • Deng’s Place in History
    24. China Transformed
  • Key People in the Deng Era
  • Chinese Communist Party Congresses and Plenums, 1956–1992