In-Person Attendees: This is an invite-only event. If you’ve received an invitation, we look forward to seeing you on Thursday, October 13, at 2:00p.m. Please refer to your emailed invite for additional details.
If you did not receive an invitation but would like to attend in person, please reach out to China Center Program Manager Shane Leary at [email protected]
Online Viewers: This event will air live on this page on Tuesday, October 20, at 10:00 a.m.
Please join Hudson Institute’s China Center for a lecture from distinguished professor Frank Dikötter on his most recent book, China after Mao: The Rise of a Superpower.
Dr. Dikötter is chair professor of humanities at the University of Hong Kong and a premier historian of the People’s Republic of China. He has published a dozen books that have changed the way we look at modern China, from the classic The Discourse of Race in Modern China (Stanford University Press, 1992) to China before Mao: The Age of Openness (University of California Press, 2007).
He is the author of the People’s Trilogy, which used newly opened files from the Chinese Communist Party’s own archives to document the impact of communism on the lives of ordinary people under Mao. The first volume, Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958–1962, won the 2011 BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, Britain’s most prestigious book award for non-fiction. It was selected as a Book of the Year by The Economist, the Independent, the Sunday Times, the London Evening Standard, The Telegraph, the New Statesman and the Globe and Mail, and has been translated into 13 languages. The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Chinese Revolution 1945–1957, was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize in 2014. The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962–1976 concludes the trilogy and was published in May 2016.
His latest book, entitled China after Mao, is a sequel to the People’s Trilogy. In this book, Dikötter examines the unprecedented rise of China following the disaster of the Cultural Revolution. He takes us inside the country’s unprecedented four-decade economic transformation—from rural villages to industrial metropoles and elite party conclaves—that vaulted the nation from the 126th largest economy in the world to second ¬largest. A historian at the pinnacle of his field, Dikötter challenges much of what we think we know about how this happened. Casting aside the image of a society marching unwaveringly toward growth, in lockstep to the beat of the party drum, he recounts instead a fascinating tale of contradictions, illusions, and palace intrigue, of disasters narrowly averted, shadow banking, anti-corruption purges, and extreme state wealth existing alongside everyday poverty. He examines China’s navigation of the 2008 financial crash, its increasing hostility toward perceived Western interference, and its development into a thoroughly entrenched dictatorship with a sprawling security apparatus and the most sophisticated surveillance system in the world. As this magisterial book makes clear, the Communist Party’s goal was never to join the democratic world, but to resist it—and ultimately defeat it.