Deng Xiaoping: My Father

Overview

A best-seller in China, Deng Xiaoping, My Father is a revealing biography by Deng Maomao, the ruler's youngest daughter and, since 1989, his personal assistant. With this book she breaks the taboo among family members of senior Chinese officials against publishing a biography of a close relative who is still alive. But Deng Maomao saw a side of her famous father that she felt compelled to share with the world. Deng Maomao writes with flair and insight about people and events long shrouded in mystery. With a great...
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Overview

A best-seller in China, Deng Xiaoping, My Father is a revealing biography by Deng Maomao, the ruler's youngest daughter and, since 1989, his personal assistant. With this book she breaks the taboo among family members of senior Chinese officials against publishing a biography of a close relative who is still alive. But Deng Maomao saw a side of her famous father that she felt compelled to share with the world. Deng Maomao writes with flair and insight about people and events long shrouded in mystery. With a great respect for China's history and the achievements of its leaders, she focuses on the first half of Deng's remarkable sixty-year career, from his birth in a village in Sichuan province and his education in France to his underground revolutionary work and his rise as a military commander, an important government official, and a key leader of the Communist Party. Since becoming China's ruler in 1978, Deng Xiaoping has molded the country according to his own vision, with tight Communist Party control over politics and a freewheeling atmosphere of experimentation and market-oriented policies in economics. Economically liberal but politically conservative, Deng Xiaoping is a contradictory figure. With Deng Xiaoping, My Father, Deng Maomao offers the first insider account of this enigmatic, post-revolutionary Chinese leader.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Written by his youngest daughter (Deng Xiaoping has three daughters and two sons), this biography of the 90-year-old Chinese leader is worthwhile for the basic information it provides about his life from his birth in 1904 to the founding of Communist China in 1949 (the period from his 45th year to the present is only briefly summarized), but Western readers will grow impatient with Deng Maomao's adoring praise of a man she considers flawless. In prose that often reads as though written by a propaganda committee (one suspects that the sections on Party history were, judging by the abrupt changes in style), Deng Maomao applauds Deng Xiaoping's exemplary behavior as a child in Sichuan Province, his experiences in France in a work-study program, his contributions as editor of Red Star and political commissar during the anti-Japanese and civil wars of the 1930s and '40s. The names of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai are evoked often, but readers learn little that is new about them; and much of what is revealed about Deng Xiaoping himself is trivial (e.g., he enjoyed watching soccer matches in France and ``loved his children''). The essential speciousness of the book is clearest in the description of the Chinese Army's rape of Tibet as a peaceful liberation in which Tibetan culture was protected and respected. Photos. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Deng Xiaoping's daughter reflects on the forces that shaped her father. This is "less a biography than an elucidation of historical context." (LJ 1/95)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465016266
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 12/28/1995
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.41 (d)

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