Ann-Ping Chin: The Authentic Confucius


NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2007 - Ann-Ping Chin in conversation with Jonathan Spence at Asia Society's Headquarters in New York. They discuss her new book The Authentic Confucius: A Life of Thought and Politics.

Jonathan Spence

Professor Jonathan Spence teaches in the field of Chinese history from around 1600 to the present, and on Western images of China since the middle ages. His books include The Death of Woman Wang (1978); The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci (1984); The Question of Hu (1987); Chinese Roundabout: Essays on History and Culture; The Gate of Heavenly Peace: The Chinese and Their Revolution 1895-1980; The Chan's Great Continent: China in Western Minds; and God's Chinese Son (1994). His research often takes him to many Chinese Universities.

Jonathan Spence was president of the American Historical Association for the 2004-2005 term. Recognized as one of the foremost scholars of Chinese civilization from the 16th century to the present, Spence has written extensively on the role of history in shaping modern China. His critically acclaimed The Search for Modern China has become one of the standard texts on the last several hundred years of Chinese history. His recent works include a biography of Mao Zedong and Treason by the Book, exploring an intriguing episode of 18th-century history.

A native of England, Spence holds a bachelor's degree from Cambridge University and master's and doctoral degrees from Yale. He began teaching at Yale in 1965 and was named the Sterling Professor of History in 1993.

His many honors include the William C. DeVane Medal of the Yale Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in 1978; the Los Angeles Times History Prize in 1982; and the Vursel Prize of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1983. Spence was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1985. He was a MacArthur Fellow in 1988, and that year was appointed to the Council of Scholars at the Library of Congress.

In June 2001, he was made a Companion of the Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, an honor given by the Queen of England for outstanding achievement.

Ann-Ping Chin

Ann-Ping Chin is a Professor of History at Yale. She has written four books: The Authentic Confucius: A Life of Thought and Politics (Scribner, 2007); Four Sisters of Hofei (Scribner, 2002), a history of China's last century through the lives of four highly educated and accomplished women; Tai Chen on Mencius (Yale University Press, 1990), a study of eighteenth century Chinese intellectual history; and Children of China: Voices from Recent Years (Knopf, 1989), based on interviews with Chinese children living in the People's Republic of China. She has also co-authored, with Jonathan Spence, Chinese Century: A Photographic History of the Last Hundred Years (Random House, 1996).