Ezra Vogel: 'Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China'
Perhaps no one in the 20th century had a greater long-term impact on world history than Deng Xiaoping. 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 20th 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.
Ezra F. Vogel is a Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard University and has written multiple books on Japan, China and Asia. The Japanese edition of Professor Vogel's book, Japan as Number One: Lessons for America (1979), remains the all-time best-seller of non-fiction by a Western author in Japan. Vogel officially retired in 2000 but remains active in research and East Asia-related activities.
Co-sponsored by Asia Society Northern California, the Japan Policy Research Institute at the USF Center for the Pacific Rim, and the Mechanics’ Institute Library