MacFarquhar, Roderick 1930-
MacFarquhar, Roderick 1930-
PERSONAL: Surname is pronounced “MacFarker”; born December 2, 1930, in Lahore, Pakistan; son of Alexander (a United Nations official) and Berenice MacFarquhar; married Emily Cohen (a journalist), December 23, 1964 (died, 2001); children: Larissa, Rory. Education: Keble College, Oxford, B.A., 1953; Harvard University, A.M., 1955; London School of Economics and Political Science, Ph.D., 1981. Politics: British Social Democratic Party. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, travel, listening to music.
ADDRESSES: Home—Cambridge, MA. Office—CGIS S133, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02138. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer, journalist, educator. Daily Telegraph, London, England, Chinese and Asian specialist, 1955-61; China Quarterly, London, editor, 1959-68; Oxford University, St. Antony’s College, Oxford, England, associate fellow, 1965-68; Columbia University, New York, NY, senior research associate, 1969; Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, research fellow, 1971-74; British Parliament, elected member representing division of Belper, 1974-79; Leverhulme research fellow, 1980-83; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, professor of politics, 1984—, Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, director, 1986-92 and 2005-06, Leroy B. Williams professor of history and government, 1990—, Department of Government, chair, 1998-2004. Visiting professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore 2005. Commentator, British Broadcasting Corp., 1963-64, 1972-74, and 1979-80. Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Military service: British Army, Royal Tank Regiment, 1949-50; became second lieutenant.
MEMBER: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Association for Asian Studies, American Political Science Association, Royal Institute of International Affairs, National Union of Journalists.
AWARDS, HONORS: Rockefeller Foundation grant, 1962; Ford Foundation grant, 1968-69.
The Hundred Flowers Campaign and the Chinese Intellectuals, Praeger (New York, NY), 1960, reprinted, Octagon (New York, NY), 1974.
(With G.F. Hudson and Richard Lowenthal) The Sino-Soviet Dispute, Praeger (New York, NY), 1961.
(Contributor) Reactions to a Nuclear-Armed Communist China: Europe and the United Kingdom, Institute for Defense Analyses (Washington, DC), 1962.
(Editor) China under Mao, M.I.T. Press (Cambridge, MA), 1966.
Chinese Ambitions and British Policy, Fabian Society (London, England), 1966.
Sino-American Relations, 1949-71, Praeger, (New York, NY), 1972.
The Forbidden City, Newsweek (New York, NY), 1972.
The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Oxford University Press and Columbia University Press (New York, NY), Volume I: Contradictions among the People, 1956-1957, 1974, Volume II: The Great Leap Forward, 1958-1960, 1983, Volume III: The Coming of the Cataclysm, 1961-1966, 1997.
(Editor) The Politics of China, 1949-1989, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1993, 2nd edition published as The Politics of China: The Eras of Mao and Deng, 1997.
(Editor, with Merle Goldman) The Paradox of China’s Post-Mao Reforms, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1999.
(With Michael Schoenhals) Mao’s Last Revolution, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2006.
Also editor, with John Fairbank, of Volume 14 and Volume 15 of The Cambridge History of China. Contributor to New Statesman, Foreign Affairs, World Today, Pacific Affairs, Problems of Communism, and Atlantic Monthly. Member of editorial board, New Statesman, 1965-70.
SIDELIGHTS: Harvard University professor Roderick MacFarquhar is best known for his works on China’s Cultural Revolution under the leadership of Chairman Mao and Deng Xiaoping. MacFarquhar’s The Politics of China, 1949-1989 has been published in two editions and was given favorable notice by Robert A. Kapp in the China Business Review. Kapp wrote: “Business people interested in China would do well to read the MacFarquhar book once, then keep it handy for reference to its excellent index, which chronicles the myriad events, people, and institutions whose historic significance ought to be understood by foreigners working in China today.” Kapp concluded that the work is “a solid, engrossing portrait of the political milieu in which the Chinese operate.”
MacFarquhar also edited and helped to translate The Secret Speeches of Chairman Mao: From the Hundred Flowers to the Great Leap Forward. The speeches, many of them given to small audiences of Mao’s most faithful followers, shed light on the Hundred Flowers campaign and the Great Leap Forward, while they also reveal Mao’s true philosophy for handling “contradictions” and factionalism in Chinese society. In the New Republic, Andrew J. Nathan observed of the book: “The texts have never been available outside a small circle of Party specialists in China. They add to our understanding of Mao’s character and thinking at a crucial turning point in contemporary Chinese history.”
MacFarquhar has edited numerous volumes of China studies. Working with John Fairbank, he edited the final two volumes of The Cambridge History of China. With Merle Goldman, he provided editorial direction for the 1999 The Paradox of China’s Post-Mao Reforms, a “timely volume [that] make[s] it abundantly clear that there are no easy conclusions to draw and no crystal-ball predictions about China’s future direction,” according to the Historian reviewer Lawrence Kessler. MacFarquhar gathers contributions from seventeen participants in a 1996 Harvard symposium to discuss the economic reforms made in China since Mao’s time. Among the essays are studies of political institutions, such as the National People’s Congress and the Village Committees, and examinations of the emerging middle class. Kessler concluded: “Each chapter and the volume as a whole offer numerous insights into the dynamic nature of China’s politics and society in the last decade of the twentieth century.”
MacFarquhar’s three-volume The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, begun in 1974 and concluded in 1997, is a “monumental trilogy,” in the words of Canadian Journal of History contributor Brian L. Evans. The books examine the years leading up to the Cultural Revolution, a time of great turmoil in China. In the concluding volume of the trilogy, The Coming of the Cataclysm, 1961-1966, MacFarquhar covers the era “from the aftermath of the disastrous Great Leap Forward to the opening rallies of the Great Revolution for the Establishment of a Proletarian Culture,” according to Evans. These years witnessed the intensification of the Sino-Soviet split, as well as growing tensions with the United States and the increasing political power wielded by Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing. Evans concluded: “With this volume, Roderick MacFarquhar puts the capstone on a brilliant analysis of the decade prior to the Cultural Revolution.” Similar praise came from Perspectives on Political Science reviewer R. Edward Glatfelter, who noted: “MacFarquhar has produced an excellent piece of scholarship, the most thoroughly researched and persuasive argument to date that the Cultural Revolution originated in the actions of the chairman.”
MacFarquhar takes the reader into the actual years of the infamous Cultural Revolution with his 2006 title, Mao’s Last Revolution, coauthored with Michael Schoe-nhals. Weekly Standard writer Ross Terrill described this historical epoch: “The Cultural Revolution, one of 20th-century communism’s worst episodes—if not in numbers dead, in misery, cynicism, and utter pointlessness—was not about culture, nor was it a revolution.” Instead, as the authors show, it was the work of an aging Mao who was fearful of enemies at every turn. From 1966 to 1976 the Red Guards, young communist fanatics pledged to Mao himself, terrorized the land: tens of millions were persecuted; well over a million people were killed.
MacFarquhar and Schoenhals provide an “exhaustive critique” of this decade in China, in the words of a Publishers Weekly contributor. An Economist reviewer similarly observed: “Using sources that range from official party and government documents to letters, diaries and interviews with surviving participants and victims, the authors document the orders that went out, the mayhem that resulted and the fear it all struck in the hearts of people across the country.” Terrill found Mao’s Last Revolution to be a “feast for the student of China,” but at the same time a “challenge for the general reader.” Judith Shapiro, writing in the New York Times Book Review, found Mao’s Last Revolution “ an important first effort to establish the facts” about this period that is still glossed over in Chinese history. Shapiro further felt that the authors “present a painstakingly detailed account of interactions among the top leaders and their proxies in Beijing, and touch on some of the major events in the provinces.” Orville Schell, the author of many books on China, commented in the Washington Post Book World: “One can only lament that Mao’s Last Revolution will not be available in China, where the party’s aversion to probing into such sensitive topics makes it unlikely that a similar historical research project will be forthcoming anytime soon.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
America, December 17, 1983, John W. Witek, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume II: The Great Leap Forward, 1958-1960, p. 398.
American Historical Review, October 1, 1984, Harold C. Hinton, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume II, p. 1136; June 1, 1993, Lowell Dittmer, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 15, p. 926; April 1, 1999, Stanley Rosen, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume III: The Coming of the Cataclysm, 1961-1966, p. 548.
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, May 1, 1984, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume II, p. 200.
Asian Affairs, October 1, 1998, Kenneth C. Walker, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume III, p. 354.
Canadian Journal of History, December 1, 1992, Rene Goldman, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 15, p. 589; August 1, 1999, Brian L. Evans, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume III, p. 326.
China Business Review, November-December, 1994, Robert A. Kapp, review of The Politics of China, 1949-1989, p. 56.
China Quarterly, March 1, 1993, John Gittings, review of The Cambridge History of China, p. 152.
Choice, October 1, 1992, W.J. Parente, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 15, p. 359; June 1, 1998, J. Chen, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume III, p. 1765.
Commonweal, February 23, 2007, “The Chairman’s Willing Subjects,” p. 26.
Economist, August 20, 1983, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume II, p. 82; June 13, 1998, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume III, p. 11; June 13, 1998, review of The Secret Speeches of Chairman Mao: From the Hundred Flowers to the Great Leap Forward, p. S11; September 2, 2006, “Big Bad Wolf; China,” p. 77.
Europe-Asia Studies, November 1, 2000, Jane Duckett, review of The Paradox of China’s Post-Mao Reforms, p. 1372.
Foreign Affairs, winter, 1983, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume II, p. 474.
Historian, January 1, 1993, Michael Gasster, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 15, p. 354; fall, 2000, Lawrence Kessler, review of The Paradox of China’s Post-Mao Reforms.
History, June 1, 1989, Delia Davin, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 14, p. 283.
International Affairs, September 22, 1988, R.B. Smith, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 14, p. 737; July 1, 1993, Peter Lowe, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 15, p. 593; July 1, 1998, David Sham-baugh, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume III, p. 670.
Journal of Asian Studies, May 1, 1988, James R. Townsend, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 14, p. 356; August 1, 1999, David Bachman, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume III, p. 807; February 1, 2000, Thomas B. Gold, review of The Paradox of China’s Post-Mao Reforms, p. 150.
Journal of Interdisciplinary History, summer, 1994, Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 15.
New Republic, July 31, 1989, Andrew J. Nathan, review of The Secret Speeches of Chairman Mao, p. 33; November 27, 2006, Andrew J. Nathan, review of Mao’s Last Revolution, p. 33.
New York Review of Books, January 19, 1984, John K. Fairbank, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume II, p. 17; June 29, 1989, review of The Secret Speeches of Chairman Mao, p. 18; November 5, 1992, Jonathan Mirsky, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 15, p. 51; February 5, 1998, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume III, p. 31; September 21, 2006, “China’s Great Terror,” p. 31.
New York Times Book Review, December 10, 1989, review of The Secret Speeches of Chairman Mao, p. 12; October 8, 2006, Judith Shapiro, review of Mao’s Last Revolution.
Pacific Affairs, fall, 1988, Wang Gungwu, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 14.
Perspectives on Political Science, spring, 1999, R.Edward Glatfelter, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume III.
Political Studies, June 1, 1993, Victor Funnell, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 15, p. 330.
Publishers Weekly, June 26, 2006, review of Mao’s Last Revolution, p. 46.
Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 1998, review of The Origins of the Cultural Revolution, Volume III, p. 27.
Times Literary Supplement, March 18, 1988, W.J.F. Jenner, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 14, p. 299; June 2, 2000, Warren Cohen, review of The Paradox of China’s Post-Mao Reforms, p. 25; October 20, 2006, “What Does He Mean?,” p. 11.
Virginia Quarterly Review, January 1, 1988, review of The Cambridge History of China, Volume 14, p. 15.
Washington Post Book World, October 29, 2006, Orville Schell, review of Mao’s Last Revolution, p. 10.
Weekly Standard, March 19, 2007, Ross Terrill, review of Mao’s Last Revolution.
Department of Government, Harvard University Web site,http://www.gov.harvard.edu/ (July 14, 2007), “Roderick MacFarquhar.”
"MacFarquhar, Roderick 1930-." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 18, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/macfarquhar-roderick-1930
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