In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

242 China Review International: Vol. 5, No. 1, Spring 1998 who emerged during the Vietnam War, it is now time to objectively reassess many of the laudatory works of that generation so that a more accurate picture, warts and all, can be made available. Selden's work, unfortunately, falls somewhat short of this goal. Gerald W. Berkley-Coats University of Guam Gerald W. Berkley-Coats is a professor ofChinese history and Director ofEastAsian Studies at the University ofGuam. David Shambaugh, editor. DengXiaoping: Portrait ofa Chinese Statesman. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995. vii, 172 pp. Paperback $16.95, isbn 0-19828933 -2. The Chinese have a saying—gai guan lun ding—"only when the coffin lid is down can a man's reputation be fixed." However, the book under review here came out before Deng's death, and China scholarship may still need more time and perspective before passing a final verdict on Deng's reputation. In the meantime, this volume provides the reader with an intriguing set of perspectives that immediately reflect the state of the art in the study of China's leaders. The volume's title relates the question ofreputation to "statesmanship"; however , die concept of "statesman" is not really explored, except belatedly in die last chapter by Michael Yahuda. Yahuda regrets the neglect of statecraft in the Western social science writings on national interest and foreign policy, and he revisits the classical distinction between a "politician" and a "statesman." The latter is supposedly more high-minded about history and country and interested "in leaving a mark on the history of [his or her] respective states" (p. 161). The editor, however, opts for a wider treatment of Deng, highlighting his "professional persona" as a politician (Shambaugh), an economist (Barry Naughton), a social reformer (Martin King Whyte), a soldier (June Teufel Dreyer), and a statesman (Yahuda). Shambaugh's short, lucid introduction predictably contrasts the respective rules of Mao and Deng with reference to Maoist coercion and ideology and _ tvers'y Dengist Party institutions and Leninist norms. Mao, ofcourse, had a lot to do with the Party's creation and downfall. Deng, on the other hand, stressed institutions in reaction to the Cultural Revolution, only to give in to the temptations of "helmsmanship" in 1989. ofHawai'i Press Reviews 243 Lucían Pye follows with a characteristically blunt reminder that Western scholars have acted "contrary to common sense" in their view ofMao. Pye also takes the liberty ofproviding a second introduction to the entire volume from his particular perspective on Chinese political culture. Once again, the reader has to grapple with the extent to which political culture acts as an independent, ifnot exclusive, variable in the explanation of Chinese politics. The editor himselfprovides a foil to Pye's well-known approach in his elaboration of three paradigms of analysis and in his wider discussion ofpolitical behavior in relation to "administrative workstyle, policy agenda, strategies and tactics of rule, sources and uses of power, interactions with colleagues, subordinates and would-be successors, and methods ofdecision-making and policy implementation" (p. 50). Citing Kissinger's characterization of Deng as a "nasty little man," Pye dissects Deng's impersonal style, his lack ofwarmth and humor, his "functional" displays ofanger, and his disregard ofthe past in favor ofthe present. Pye then draws out an interesting point, suggesting that Deng's "pragmatism was constantly compromised by his impatience" (p. 33). This emphasis conflicts with the subsequent depiction ofDeng's effective implementation ofpolicy and his innately cool-headed pragmatism. Shambaugh and Naughton, for example, cast Deng as an "organization man" capable ofimpressive coalition building, but somewhat short in both stature and vision. One might also throw into the scale Martin Whyte's view of Deng as "sociologically astute" in his support ofprofessional merit vis-à-vis the patriarchal excesses of Mao as an ideologue. Most of the contributors focus on Deng's great organizational prowess and reiterate the widespread view that Deng, as an exponent of "cat theory," had a pragmatist's allergy to ideology. All agree that Deng is a "pragmatist," but there is no sustained and consistent explanation of the intellectual origins ofhis pragmatism . Benjamin Yang, for example, narrates the details of Deng's leadership...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 242-245
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.