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Julian B. Gewirtz

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Homepage: http://www.chinafile.com/

One of the simplest and least useful ways to understand the future is to take exactly what’s happening today and project it forward, rigidly and predictably, into tomorrow. This view is more than just a form of mental inertia; it is a breed of historical determinism, denying the forces of uncertainty and human agency that actually shape change over time. Yet this view appears to have taken hold, with...

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It was the worst kept secret in Chinese politics. From 1978 until his death in 1997, Deng Xiaoping was Beijing’s ultimate decider, even though he never held any of the top official titles in this period: not general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, not president of the People’s Republic of China, not premier of the State Council. The word of “Comrade Xiaoping” remained paramount even after he...

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Unlikely Partners recounts the story of how Chinese politicians and intellectuals looked beyond their country’s borders for economic guidance at a key crossroads in the nation’s tumultuous 20th century. Julian Gewirtz offers a dramatic tale of competition for influence between reformers and hardline conservatives during the Deng Xiaoping era, bringing to light China’s productive exchanges with the West.

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