Nathan, Andrew J(ames) 1943-
NATHAN, Andrew J(ames) 1943-
ADDRESSES: Home—560 Riverside Dr., Apt. 5-P, New York, NY 10027. Office—Department of Political Science, Columbia University, 931 International Affairs Bldg., 420 W. 118th St., New York, NY 10027 E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, lecturer in history, winter, 1971; Columbia University, New York, NY, assistant professor, 1971-75, associate professor, 1975-82, professor of political science, 1982—, director of East Asian Institute, 1991-95, director of graduate studies, 1997—. Chairman of Advisory Committee of Human Rights Watch/Asia.
MEMBER: Council of Foreign Relations, American Political Science Association, Association of Asian Studies, Amnesty International.
AWARDS, HONORS: Guggenheim fellowship, 1973-74; fellowship from joint committee on contemporary China of American Council of Learned Societies and Social Science Research Council, 1973-74; National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, 1986-87, 1992-93; Levenson Prize for best book on 20th-century China, for Chinese Democracy, 1987; recipient of numerous grants.
A History of the China International Famine Relief Commission (monograph), Harvard University East Asian Research Center (Cambridge, MA), 1965.
Peking Politics, 1918-1923: Factionalism and the Failure of Constitutionalism, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1976, reprinted, University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies (Ann Arbor, MI), 1998.
Chinese Democracy, Knopf (New York, NY), 1985.
(Editor, with David Johnson and Evelyn S. Rawski) Popular Culture in Late Imperial China, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1985.
(With R. Randle Edwards and Louis Henkin) Human Rights in Contemporary China, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1986.
China's Crisis: Dilemmas of Reform and Prospects for Democracy, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1990.
China's Transition, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 1997.
(With Robert S. Ross) The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress: China's Search for Security, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1997.
(Editor, with Zhaohui Hong and Steven Smith) Dilemmas of Reform in Jiang Zemin's China, Lynne Rienner (Boulder, CO), 1999.
(Editor, with Lynda S. Bell and Ilan Peleg) Negotiating Culture and Human Rights, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2001.
(Editor, with Perry Link; compiled by Zhang Liang) The Tiananmen Papers, Public Affairs (New York, NY), 2001.
Member of editorial board, China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, and China Information. Contributor to China Quarterly, New Republic, and other periodicals.
SIDELIGHTS: Andrew J. Nathan is "one of America's most authoritative and prolific writers on twentieth-century Chinese politics, and particularly on China's democratic past and future," according to David Ownby in Pacific Affairs. Based at Columbia University, Nathan has been studying and writing on modern China since the early 1970s. In a Contemporary Review essay on Nathan's The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress: China's Search for Security, Olivier Burckhardt commented that Nathan guides the reader "with expert deftness towards a better understanding of the geo-political position of modern China, from the time it became a republic to the present." Ownby, in his review of China's Transition, similarly stated that Nathan's arguments are "subtle, sophisticated, multifaceted and thoughtful. We are a long way from the sort of China-bashing so often practiced in American politics."
Nathan and coeditor Perry Link made headlines in 2001 for The Tiananmen Papers, an English-language compilation of documents relating to the student uprising in China in 1989. Nathan and Link received the papers from a Chinese official whose pen name is Zhang Liang. What the records reveal is the Chinese Communist Party's reaction to the student demonstrations and the conferences and meetings that led to the violent and deadly confrontation between the students and soldiers in the Chinese army. Included in the book are transcripts of conversations between the highestranking officials in the Communist Party, including a group of seven octogenarians led by Deng Xiaoping. Nathan and Link went to great lengths to assure the authenticity of the documents published in The Tiananmen Papers, but they still preface the work with a caveat that they could not assure "with absolute authority" that all the documents are completely what they purport to be. Such is the reputation of the two scholars, however, that few critics debated the provenance of the work. Instead, portions of the documents were published in Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, and elsewhere, and critical reception of the book was generally very enthusiastic. As George Walden put it in his National Interest review, "If this is a forgery it is brilliantly done. To me, as to the editors, the voices in these extraordinary documents ring true."
In a New York Times Book Review of The Tiananmen Papers, Jonathan Spence wrote, "Even if doubts remain in my mind about some items of The Tiananmen Papers and their provenance, cumulatively these documents have immense impact, and bring to the fore new ways of thinking about the Tiananmen demonstrations and the reasons for their suppression. They also form a gripping and coherent historical narrative." Walden commented, "I would like to think that this will be a salutary book. Though the events are different in nature, my hunch is that these revelations could cause an intellectual ferment in China....Its appearance might spark new thoughts of reform in high places." USA Today Magazine correspondent Gerald F. Kreyche noted, "For the reader, here is an entrée to the inscrutable minds of Politburo members. The exposé will probably have repercussions on some of those who are governing China today." A Time International reporter likewise stated that the person who smuggled the papers to the West "obviously had the keys to China's most well-protected footlocker, and the political explosion will surely reverberate through a succession struggle that is already under way." Parameters correspondent Andrew Scobell concluded, "Anyone interested in contemporary China must read this book. And each reader must draw his or her own conclusions about whether the papers ring true. While The Tiananmen Papers cannot be regarded as the complete or definitive account of the events of 1989, it is likely to be the best we can do until Chinese archives are open to scholars."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Political Science Review, March, 1989, review of Human Rights in Contemporary China, p. 320; June, 1991, Michael D. Swaine, review of China's Crisis: Dilemmas of Reform and Prospects for Democracy, p. 130; September, 1999, David Bachman, review of China's Transition, p. 736.
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, March, 1991, John F. Melby, review of China's Crisis, p. 183; January, 2000, Maurice Meisner, review of China's Transition, p. 182.
Booklist, June 1, 1997, Brian McCombie, review of The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress: China's Search for Security, p. 1629.
China Business Review, September-October, 1998, Darlene M. Liao, review of China's Transition, p. 48.
Contemporary Review, February, 1998, Olivier Burckhardt, review of The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress, p. 102.
Foreign Affairs, fall, 1985, Donald Zagoria, review of Chinese Democracy, p. 194; fall, 1990, Donald Zagoria, review of China's Crisis, p. 197; July-August, 1997, Donald Zagoria, review of The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress, p. 166; May-June, 1998, Donald Zagoria, review of China's Transition, p. 152; March-April, 2001, Lucian W. Pye, "Appealing the Tiananmen Verdict: New Documents from China's High Leaders," p. 148.
History of Religions, August, 1989, Catherine Bell, review of Popular Culture in Late Imperial China, p. 46.
National Interest, summer, 2001, George Walden, "Communist Crowd Control," p. 121.
New Leader, February 23, 1998, Mark Hopkins, review of China's Transition, p. 16.
New Republic, February 25, 1991, Arthur Waldron, review of China's Crisis, p. 39.
Newsweek, January 15, 2001, "Tiananmen's Inside Story," p. 38.
New York Times Book Review, September 22, 1985, John F. Burns, review of Chinese Democracy, p. 14; June 29, 1997, Benjamin Schwarz, review of The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress, p. 15; January 21, 2001, Jonathan Spence, "Inside the Forbidden City," p. 10.
Pacific Affairs, summer, 1987, David Gedalecia, review of Popular Culture in Late Imperial China, p. 328; summer, 1998, John Fincher, review of Chinese Democracy, p. 328; spring, 1999, David Ownby, review of China's Transition, p. 82.
Parameters, autumn, 2001, Andrew Scobell, review of The Tiananmen Papers, p. 165.
Political Science Quarterly, autumn, 1987, Joel Glassman, review of Chinese Democracy, p. 507; autumn, 1987, Lucian W. Pye, review of Human Rights in Contemporary China, p. 506; spring, 1991, Allen S. Whiting, review of China's Crisis, p. 130; fall, 1998, review of The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress, p. 547; spring, 1999, Minxin Pei, review of China's Transition, p. 152.
Publishers Weekly, January 15, 2001, review of The Tiananmen Papers, p. 64.
Time International, January 15, 2001, "Behind the Scenes during the Protests That Rocked China in 1989," p. 14.
USA Today Magazine, May, 2001, Gerald F. Kreyche, review of The Tiananmen Papers, p. 79.
World Policy Journal, fall, 1997, Christopher Layne, review of The Great Wall and the Empty Fortress, p. 77.
Andrew J. Nathan,http://www.columbia.edu/ (June 3, 2002), brief vita.*