Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent biography, 21 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China (Hardcover)
Deng was a giant of a man. Not in size but in stature. He was the man who ensured China grew to be a economic power house within 20 years after his death. What is remarkable is that he only became paramount leader after he was released from exile imposed during the Cultural Revolution. So he started ruling China at the ripe age of 73.

This just released 700 page biography is a very readable book. It is written in a chronological manner. Not much is known of Deng's life as his modus operandi is not to leave notes but to commit all records to memory. This was his means to stay alive.
I highly recommend this book as the previous biography by Richard Evans was published way back in 1994.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Dec 2011 16:37:25 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Dec 2011 17:01:05 GMT
Certainly a very thoroughly researched biography by a conscientious writer and well worth reading. Nevertheless the book is let down by very poor writing style which becomes frankly irritating (for example he will use Deng's name three times in a sentence and forget that the third person pronoun is a part of the English language or that it is unnecessary to repeat things regularly etc.) and could really have benefited from simple editing. It should also be noted that the book does not really get at the underlying character and motivations of the man (for example we have no discussion of how a man such as Deng, who apparently loved his family, was apparently indifferent to the horrendous loss of life engendered by the orders and actions of his leader, Mao). The man remains something of an enigma.

Posted on 23 Feb 2012 00:04:44 GMT
BioDiplomacy says:
I bought the book a couple of days ago after a talk by the author in London. I have not yet read it - that will take time. However, his talk was based on historic photos of Deng - well-chosen. I was disappointed that a book edited by such a prestigious publisher could not afford any photographs - especially important when one of Deng;s defining characteristics is his small stature bur great self-assurance.
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