Out of Mao’s Shadow has won the 2009 Arthur Ross Book Award from the Council on Foreign Relations for the best book published on international affairs! This is a wonderful surprise, and I want to share this honor with the many colleagues and sources without whom the book would not have been possible.
Just a few odds and ends to report from Moscow:
* The New York Review of Books has called Out of Mao’s Shadow “one of the most revealing books about China since it opened up to the outside world in the 1970s.” Richard Bernstein’s kind piece in the March 26 edition here discussed my profile of Chen Lihua, the real estate tycoon who used her ties to party officials to demolish and redevelop neighborhoods in Beijing — and make herself the richest woman in the country.
I have refrained from blogging during the Olympics, in part because I’ve been sharing my views in a series of interviews intended to promote Out of Mao’s Shadow. This is basically my last media push; I’ll be cutting off the book tour and going to Moscow next week — earlier than scheduled, because of the situation in Georgia.
In print, you can read an interview with me here and a new review in Slate here, and I’ve been on radio across the country, as well as a few television show
In my book talks and interviews, I’ve often used the Communist Party’s response to the Sichuan earthquake as an example of why it has been able to stay in power. Now there’s a new twist in the story.
The government’s initial response to the earthquake was to order journalists not to cover it — but journalists across the country ignored the edict, rushed to Sichuan and provided moving coverage of the disaster. This coverage improved the government’s response — information reached Beiji
I’ve been trying to spread the word about the book, and thanks to the folks at Simon & Schuster, I have been a guest on ten radio talk shows so far — in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Albuquerque and, as of today, Dallas.
For someone who has been living in China the past seven years, the most interesting things about these interviews (and about the talks I’ve been giving at bookstores and other venues) are the questions from listeners. I wasn’t sure what to expec
The Washington Post published a piece on the front of its Style section today that I adapted from chapters 2 and 3 of Out of Mao’s Shadow. It tells the tale of Hu Jie, the air force officer turned documentary filmmaker who devoted five years of his life to recovering and recording the remarkable story of a young woman who was imprisoned during the Anti-Rightist Campaign and executed during the Cultural Revolution. The woman, Lin Zhao, an obscure poet, continued writing while in prison,
The government has confirmed that as many as 30,000 people rioted in a town in southwestern China this past weekend after the death of a 17-year-old girl, Li Shufen, whose body was found in a local river. Police ruled the death a suicide by drowning, but residents of Weng’an County in Guizhou Province believe the teenager was raped and murdered — and that police covered up the crime to protect three young suspects who are relatives of senior officials in the local Communist Party appara
Two American congressmen visiting Beijing were blocked from meeting a group of Chinese lawyers over the weekend. Readers of Out of Mao’s Shadow may recognize the names of some of the lawyers — Li Heping, Teng Biao, Jiang Tianyong, Li Fangping, Li Baiguang — because they figure prominently in the fledgling legal movement that is the subject of the last two chapters of the book. These weiquan, or “rights defense,” lawyers have been pushing the Chinese government to live up to its ow
Andrew J. Nathan — a distinguished political scientist at Columbia University, and one of my favorite China scholars — has written a very kind review of Out of Mao’s Shadow for The Washington Post’s Book World section. You can read it here.
It was a pleasant surprise on Sunday to see Prof. Nathan’s piece because the Book World editors are serious about protecting the integrity of the process and very careful about keeping information about pending reviews from the rest of the ne