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Deng Xiaoping

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Why Deng?; Like Father, Like Son (1904-1917); Bound for Abroad (1918-1920); French Capitalists make Chinese Communists (1921-1925); Russia and Beyond (1926-1929); Unfortunate Royal Commissioner (1929-1932); Bad Luck Turn into Good Fortune (1933-1936); Battlefield as "Safe Haven" (1937-1945); Battlefield as "Gold Mine" (1946-1949); The Lord of the Southwest (1950-1952); A Ladder of Official Success is Built from Shoulders of Victims (1953-1956); Exuberance after Consecutive Promotions (1957-1959); Fatigue after Leaping Forward (1960-1965); Bombardment from Within the General Headquarters (1966-1972); The Capitalist Roader on the Road (1973-1975); The Year of the Dragon (1976); Back to Power (1977-1980); The Summit of Name and Fame (1981-1984); Unsuccessful Successors (1985-1988); Bloodshed at the Gate of Heavenly Peace (1989); Retirement or Not? (1990-1993); Supreme Maturity (1994-1996); Epilogue - Communist China With or Without Him.


In this academic but vivid biography, Chinese scholar and Harvard research fellow Yang profiles Deng Xiaoping (1904-1995) as a shrewd, resourceful politician who came to power through his constant sharp appraisal of Mao's state of mind. Filled with ever-deepening contempt for Mao's benighted policies, Deng turned millions of landless peasants into landowners; yet, as China's absolute ruler, he lacked the hands-on control to follow through on his economic modernizations, in Yang's estimate. The author, a schoolmate of Deng's two sons at Beijing University and a Red Guard comrade of one of them during the Cultural Revolution, evinces restrained admiration for Deng's reformist drive, though he doesn't let us forget the sins and shortcomings of a dictator who, 32 years before the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, launched a massive purge that sent close to a million "rightists"‘liberals, entrepreneurs, intellectuals, pro-democracy leaders‘to labor camps and death. Besides offering a rare behind-the-scenes look at the Communist Party's internecine power struggles, this biography, written with a Chinese brand of playful irony, is peppered with dramatic personal glimpses, as when Deng's common-law wife Ah Jin denounced him before a 1933 party congress and declared that she was "cutting off relations" with him. (Jan.)

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