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Deng Xiaoping: A Revolutionary Life

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  35 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Deng Xiaoping joined the Chinese Communist movement as a youth and rose in its ranks to become an important lieutenant of Mao's from the 1930s onward. Two years after Mao's death in 1976, Deng became the de facto leader of the Chinese Communist Party and the prime architect of China's post-Mao reforms. Abandoning the Maoist socio-economic policies he had long fervently ...more
Hardcover, 640 pages
Published May 1st 2015 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published April 1st 2015)
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Hadrian
This biography of Deng Xiaoping was written by the same team who wrote the biography Mao: The Real Story in 2012. That book was an even-handed study of a complex, if tyrannical, subject, which avoided the wild caricatures of Mao: The Unknown Story.

In this book, they take almost a messianic approach to the field - the authors say this is the only complete and objective book on the subject (pg. 8), as all the others are obsolete or critically flawed. The only other book they deign to address by n
...more
Joseph
Mar 20, 2015 Joseph rated it it was amazing
Deng Xiaoping: A Revolutionary Life by Alexander V. Pantsov, Steven I Levine is the biography of arguably the second most important person in modern China. Paston is a professor of history and holds the Edward and Mary Catherine Gerhold Chair in the Humanities at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He has published numerous scholarly works including fifteen books, among them The Bolsheviks and the Chinese Revolution 1919-1927 and Mao: The Real Story. Levine is research faculty associate, Depar ...more
Jean Poulos
Jul 21, 2015 Jean Poulos rated it really liked it
Deng Xiaoping was a devoted member of the communist party. Unlike Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping left almost no paper trail which has made it difficult for historians. He was noted to be crafty, and an obsessive bridge player. Deng Xiaoping was educated in France.

Pantsov, a professor of history at Capital University in Ohio, has done extensive research into the life of Deng Xiaoping. Steven I. Levine is a research faculty associate in the Department of History at the University of Montana. They spent
...more
Adrian
Mar 28, 2016 Adrian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As this is the third biography of Deng Xiaoping within 4 years, the immediate question one may ask is, why another?
Well, Alexander Pantsov has delivered perhaps the most balanced, and complete biography of Deng Xiaoping on the market today. In contrast to the more extensive Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra F Vogel, Pantsov's work is a complete biography of his life. In many ways, the chronological coverage is almost completely reversed.
While Vogel spends very little time on
...more
萧行 Xiaoxing
Oct 29, 2016 萧行 Xiaoxing rated it liked it
20世纪初中国四川富裕的农家弟子也无法负担西欧强国的学费;
法国每天五块钱的生活,让主人公“看透了资本主义的罪恶”;
恰在此时莫斯科立足未稳的共产党“广招天下英豪”、要进行“世界革命”;
开办“中山大学”,中国学生吃住全免、暑期集体黑海度假;
唯一的要求是“为共产主义奋斗终身”;
既然“失去的只是枷锁”那又何乐而不为。
二三十年代共产党急速的“潮起潮落”让多少“第一代中共党员”沦为历史的配角;
而所有坚持下来的都成了“老干部”。
在“伴君如伴虎”的年代里,高刘林周一个个马失前蹄;
来得早不如来得巧、1975年/76年的二把手才是真正的储君;
风水轮流转、终于到我家;只可惜“天不变道亦不变”,胡赵竟成了80年代的刘林。
洋务派又玩起开放、宗人府又竖起“帝国万世一系,永永尊戴”的“基本原则”、
德国内核、俄国原装进口的西洋“新瓶”,竟装的还是那大清国的二锅头。
Omar Ali
Sep 12, 2016 Omar Ali rated it really liked it
I did not finish the book, but I read big chunks of it and it was very good. It seems a very fair and detailed biography and gives new insights into the murky world of Chinese Communist Party politics. I did read the whole section around Deng's last fall and rehabilitation and it is a must read for anyone interested in modern China. Though the authors do not emphasize the point, it is worth noting that the high command of the CCP was never just one man doing what he pleased and especially after ...more
Jeff
Aug 30, 2015 Jeff rated it liked it
An informative book, perhaps even an essential book for anyone wishing to understand China today. But Deng's life is told from a limited perspective. His early history seems to be merely what was recorded from meeting minutes of various communist forums and committees. Agreed, there are few living witnesses to some of this history. But the committee assignments and decisions are mind-numbing, particularly when they occur during events such as the war against Japan and the Long March. Almost ...more
Aloe Yan
Feb 17, 2016 Aloe Yan rated it really liked it
Shelves: china-studies
It's interesting to read it after China under Mao. Different approaches. Good Lord... This quarter is brutal.
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