• Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

  • By: Ezra F. Vogel
  • Narrated by: Eric Jason Martin
  • Length: 33 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (165 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $34.99

Buy for $34.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Once described by Mao Zedong as a "needle inside a ball of cotton", Deng was the pragmatic yet disciplined driving force behind China's radical transformation in the late 20th century. He confronted the damage wrought by the Cultural Revolution, dissolved Mao's cult of personality, and loosened the economic and social policies that had stunted China's growth. Obsessed with modernization and technology, Deng opened trade relations with the West, which lifted hundreds of millions of his countrymen out of poverty. Yet at the same time he answered to his authoritarian roots, most notably when he ordered the crackdown in June 1989 at Tiananmen Square. 

Deng's youthful commitment to the Communist Party was cemented in Paris in the early 1920s, among a group of Chinese student-workers that also included Zhou Enlai. Deng returned home in 1927 to join the Chinese Revolution on the ground floor. In the fifty years of his tumultuous rise to power, he endured accusations, purges, and even exile before becoming China's preeminent leader from 1978 to 1989 and again in 1992. When he reached the top, Deng saw an opportunity to creatively destroy much of the economic system he had helped build for five decades as a loyal follower of Mao-and he did not hesitate.

©2011 Ezra F. Vogel (P)2021 Tantor

More from the same

What listeners say about Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    144
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    111
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    126
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another butcher of the Chinese language

While Ezra Vogel’s text is one of the greatest texts in the library of modern China Studies, this audiobook is yet another in Audible’s collection in which the narrator makes no attempt at learning to read basic Pinyin. While it is unreasonable to expect anyone who reads a book about China to be fluent in Mandarin, the reader’s lackluster pronunciation of almost every Chinese proper noun that is not “Deng Xiaoping” makes it very difficult to follow. Even in the first hour, I found myself often having to piece together what the reader is trying to say, distracting me from following Vogel’s argument. It is disappointing to me that many audiobooks about China make this same mistake. Please, Audible, spend some time training readers how to properly pronounce non-English languages!

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Poorly Selected Reader

The book was great, but the performance left much to be desired. I’m not trying to be unkind but the voice and speech pattern were wooden, rigid and robotic in a way that detracted. More importantly, with that many Chinese terms and quotes in the book, they really should have selected someone with an ability to pronounce Chinese correctly. His Chinese pronunciation was atrocious and incomprehensible and at times that made it difficult to understand the referenced name, city or quotation.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best books, one of the best politicians

Have read it nearly 10 times and been waiting for the audio release during 5 years.
I bow to academic Ezra F. Vogel – God bless his soul; thank the publisher Tantor Audio and Audible.
The author’s depth of analysis, professionalism and talent are such that you want to return to this book like to Lee Kuan Yew’s.
USA cannot survive by keeping its people in the dark, here – in silence, about the best books about the best politicians because of the deep state egotistic considerations.
Maybe it is time to let the audios of the Lee Kuan Yew’s books?

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book well produced

Deng Xiaoping is a key to any scholar trying to understand modern china. Ezra does a good job of trying to present a fair accurate picture given Deng’s attitude of staying out of the spot light. The audio version was well produced and brought the story to life.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent history of modern China

This biography of Deng Xioping offers an incredibly detailed history of how China moves from Mao to the modern China we know today. Excellent book for those looking to learn more about China.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One child is China's final destiny.

China will grow old long before it grows rich. To some outsiders China already looks rich. It shows its "face" to good advantage!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Poor casting

Narrator can speak French but not Chinese, which makes it hard to figure out what people and cities he is referring to.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent introduction to modern China

Loved the way Ezra lays out events and builds up to explaining the complexities of China in the XXth century.

It avoids the blatant criticism of authors like Walker Magnus, and instead focuses on events and facts.

It however might seem a bit overwhelming at first, 30 hrs long but totally worth it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

insightful look into the CCP

Loved the level of detail and research that went into capturing how relationships between top CCP leaders shaped China's policy.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Detailed and Balanced Biography

A detailed biography of one of China’s most profoundly important political figures, this book is balanced and fair. I recommend it to readers who want to understand how China’s dramatic transformation from Mao to now came about. I wish the narrator had been better schooled in how to pronounce the many Chinese names and places in the book.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Furry Cheese
  • Furry Cheese
  • 06-22-21

Read the book instead

Towering accomplishment of research let down by a narrator unfamiliar with Chinese language, leading to hopelessly garbled people and place names.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-20-21

A well researched and fascinating book.

Busts numerous myths about the Deng era. The book is helpful for understanding China today.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jon lanģley
  • Jon lanģley
  • 04-01-22

Overall Brilliant

Saddened to see the illustrious nation of China suffering as it has in particular over the past 150? years at Western and Japanese hands. I can see China very clearly emerging but earnestly hope as a force for good. Deng had his faults but possesed a huge amount of insight about the direction China should take. At what price. Mao often showed disregard for the people , with a few exceptions Deng was more passive in encouraging free trade over Maoism, good news for the millionaire bracket which is expanding, but nothing but poverty and death awaits Mao and Dengs original power base. of course the book is far more reaching, we see Deng and his formative years as well as the notorious Tianamen Square massacre, the long march, Vietnam and much more besides. Good, interesting read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for H. M. S. Kazi
  • H. M. S. Kazi
  • 01-27-22

You couldn’t have got a better narrator for this book.

The subject matter of the book had required just the kind of voice that the narrator has been blessed with.

A great book narrated by a uniquely great voice.

Please use the heavenly gift of this narrator and ask him to bless us with the narration of more books of this type: serious non-fiction.

Thanks.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for wale okunrinboye
  • wale okunrinboye
  • 12-23-21

A masterpiece

Ezra Vogel provided a balanced view on the life of Deng Xiaoping. Absolutely loved listening to it. Very in depth review of the background and character of Deng, situated within a good context of the political and economic landscape of China. Without embellishment Vogel helped draw out the key to understanding Deng without pandering to any messianic themes.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alan Smart
  • Alan Smart
  • 10-07-21

Uneven biography

Very good on policy development under Deng, but rather too uncritical on many aspects. Also very light on Deng's personal life, his family, his personal wealth, and his overall history prior to 1980. Decent enough read, but uneven .

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for rico
  • rico
  • 08-31-21

Highly recommended

In general, this book has expressed very sophisticated facts & opinions. Also the narrator tried very hard on Chinese pronounciations, well done!